Why we need intersectionality in Ghanaian feminist politics and discourses
Accepted at the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Annual Conference, July 11-15, 2021 (Nairobi / Online 2021).
Abstract: Several African scholars have theorized about the evolution of feminist movements on the continent but there has been little focus on the importance of employing an intersectional feminist framework to understanding and unpacking feminist discourses in Africa. Through an intersectionality framework, I map the evolution of feminist discourses in Ghana paying attention to the gaps in feminist theory and praxis. I review feminist discourses to discuss the relationship between earlier feminist movements and contemporary feminist movements highlighting the gaps in the work done by these movements. I argue that to truly embody a radical praxis in African feminist politics, it is imperative that we employ an intersectional lens and framework to ensure that feminist topics that have historically been pushed to the periphery are centered in our theory and praxis. I critically analyze the discourses in contemporary feminist movements that are especially visible on digital media and proffer recommendations on how their work can embody an intersectional praxis. While digital media provides a platform for voices that would ordinarily be excluded in discussions on feminist activism, it is imperative to pay attention to how these platforms are utilized by activists to (in)advertently exclude the most marginalized from their feminist politics and discourses. Ultimately, I demonstrate what an intersectional approach to feminist activism and praxis should look like. By applying an intersectionality framework to understanding African feminist discourses, we open ourselves up to driving feminism theory and praxis toward emancipatory interventions. This study draws attention to the importance of centering historically marginalized groups in mainstream Ghanaian feminist discourses.
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