What is it about?

Women are nowhere to be found in newspaper discursive contest over Nigeria's unity. The progress that women are making in breaking political glass ceilings have failed to translate to better visibility in media discourse for women. Media is now a more hostile space for women than politics is.

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Why is it important?

We cannot build an inclusive society or attain a form of development that works for all if women are treated as a muted group in national discourse. Attainment of meaningful development will remain illusive until national discourse spaces such as different forms of media are liberalized to accommodate views of different sections of the society. Voices of women and men must collectively shape national discourse.


Journalism of convenience which recycles the same news sources need to stop. Our world is characterized by multiplicity of voices, the intersectionalities of which hold the meaning that can be representative of the collective mind of the society. Journalists need to prioritize new voices, especially those of women, when telling national stories. Views of politicians are not always representative of the aspirations of the citizens, especially in contexts where outcomes of elections are hardly representative of people's choices. Journalists need to engage plurality of voices that cut across the divide of sex, age, abilities, ethnicity, religion, and language in telling national stories. Only then can they truly do democracy a service.

Dr Oyewole Adekunle Oladapo
University of Ibadan

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Gender and the national crisis of contested nationhood: news visibility of women in Nigeria’s unity debate, Feminist Media Studies, August 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2019.1647867.
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