Our team met with Emma Sitland to talk about her upcoming piece “Women’s Social Movements in West Africa: What Makes a Success Story?” in the Spring 2019 edition of Chrysalis. Her article looks at women’s social movements in Liberia and Sierra Leone. You can listen to her thesis video to learn more about her article.
Originally from New Brunswick, Emma is pursuing an honours degree in international development studies with a minor in African studies. You may know Emma from her weekly IDSSA listserv, since she serves as our Vice-President of Communications. Throughout her time at McGill, she has been involved in many clubs, such as McGill Students for Oxfam-Quebec, McGill Students for UNICEF, and McGill Students for Amnesty International.
Over the past summer, she interned for the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana. She later wrote her internship thesis on LGBTQ+ rights and African values, which inspired her to write one of her op-ed published on Catalyst. More recently, she wrote an article on Catalyst discussing the impact of White Saviourism. Emma has found her interest in women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights particularly in Latin America and Africa.
A few years ago, Emma was watching a documentary entitled “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” when they featured Leymah Gbowee a leader of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. Emma quickly became intrigued by Gbowee and her work. Later on, when Emma had to write a piece for her course on African politics, she saw the opportunity to write about Gbowee. While Emma has a general interest in women’s social movement, she is particularly interested in exploring how these movements come together.
In the fall, Emma will start law school at McGill where she hopes to pursue a major concentration in international development studies and human rights. She hopes to build a career working on human rights with NGOs.
You can find Emma’s article here.