The study of women in Sierra Leone has been well launched. Except for the work of Carol P. MacCormack (formerly Hoffer) on political leadership and socio-economic development among Mende and Sherbro women (1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982), most of this scholarship focuses on women in Freetown, mainly the Krio. Filomena Steady (1975, 1976) has analysed Krio women's leadership in church and political organisations. The history of their economic contribution to the evolution of the city has been discussed by E. Frances White (1976, 1978, 1981a, b). Gender relationships in modern marriage have been examined by Barbara Harrell-Bond (1975). In addition, there are a number of biographical studies of prominent leaders: Paramount Chief Madam Yoko (Hoffer, 1974), Adelaide Casely Hayford (Okonkwo, 1985; Cromwell, 1986), Constance A. Cummings-John (Denzer, 1981, forthcoming a, b), Hannah S. Benka Coker (Metzger, 1973: 50–2), and Lottie Hamilton-Hazeley (Metzger, 1973: 52–3). On the basis of this body of work it is possible to study more closely the contribution of women in modern politics in Freetown and the socioeconomic forces behind their participation. This account covers the period from the emergence of the proto-nationalist movement, the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA), up to the campaign for independence.