Professor Mary Salvaterra Publishes Work on Women Religious in Africa

Published on Tue, February 02, 2010

Sister Mary Salvaterra, Ph.D., Professor of Education, co-authored Developing Leaders Among Women Religious in Africa in A. W. Wiseman (Ed.), Educational leadership: Global contexts and international comparisons (pp. 245-271). UK: Emerald Press.

The Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) was designed to develop leadership skills in 304 women religious of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria. SLDI educates women religious to facilitate transformation of the social and economic situations of the people they serve. This study examined the role of women religious as architects of change, explored the role of culture in leadership, and described the gradual transformative impact of the program.

The authors M. Salvaterra, J. Wakahiu, J. Farr, and G. Zafino held small group discussions, individual interviews, and focus groups to collect the data over a 4-month period. Three case studies illustrate the strategies used to transform their environments through practical employable skills. The study revealed that culture has an impact on leadership styles and leadership education is an investment that transforms the lives of people. They taught leadership skills to enhance their ability to respond efficiently to the educational, medical, and social needs of their people.