This study shows what online activism by women’s rights groups in Nigeria and Ghana looks like, especially by exploring their online advocacy and campaign approaches. Applying the new social movement theories with methodological insights from pragmatics and discourse analysis, the study examines and analyses how gender issues such as political participation, human trafficking and violence against women are mediated discursively. The study further assesses the roles of social media in the campaign programmes of the women’s rights groups (WRGs) under study. One group each from Nigeria and Ghana are selected for the study. These WRGs exist both online and offline but engage in some unique and interesting discursive advocacy practices that campaign for gender equality, human rights, and women’s political empowerment.
Keywords: discourse, digitization, activism, campaign discourse, political participation, women’s rights groups, Nigeria, Ghana.
Innocent Chiluwa is a Professor in English Linguistics and Media/Digital Communications in the Department of Languages & General Studies, Covenant University, Nigeria. He is a Georg Forster Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) (Bonn), and a Humboldt scholar & visiting Professor in the Department of English, University of Freiburg. He is also an associate member of the Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT) at the University of Freiburg, Germany. He is currently on a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS), where he is investigating the role of digitization in activism and political campaigns of women’s rights advocacy groups in Europe and Africa.
He has published books and edited volumes in media discourse, social media and society, discourse and conflict studies and deception studies. His most recent edited books include Discourse, media and conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2022), and Discourse and Conflict, (Palgrave, 2021).
Prof. Chiluwa is on the Editorial Boards of Discourse & Society (SAGE), Journal of Multicultural Discourses (Routledge) and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication (Taylor & Francis).