African Women in Media

I am beyond excited to have been asked to chair one of the panels at the upcoming African Women in Media Symposium at Birmingham City University. I am looking forward to an inspirational and thought provoking event with some seriously talented women.

The symposium aims to bring together African women working in the media, and academics in the field of media and communications concerned with media, diaspora, race, gender, representation, and African feminism. The objectives are to engage in debates on issues affecting African women in the media, provide an opportunity for the exchange of ideas between academia and industry, and opportunities for networking.

With a focus on news media, the central questions the symposium will seek to answer are:

•What challenges do African women working in the media face?

•How are these challenges being addressed? How might they be?

•How are African women represented in the media?

The long-term aim is to establish an action-orientated, supportive, and, empowering network that bridges academia and industry.

As someone who works both in industry (The Sister Sister Network) and academia (My research on the efficacy of the law as a tool for promoting gender equality), this event cannot come at a better time. Feminism is on the rise, and more women from ethnic minorities are spare-heading influential and relevant equal rights movements globally for the advancement of our common course.

Events like this are always relevant and crucial in expanding the empowerment of women across races, religions, ethnicity and background. By coming together in small groups to share ideas and knowledge we are collectively stronger.

I congratulate Dr Yemisi Akinbobola for this vision and cannot wait to meet the wonderful women on my panel (below) who I am sure will go on to do great things and continue to use their voices to influence the world positively.

Panel 2: Voices of African women in diaspora and online media

Panelists will discuss the role, and current practices, of diaspora and ethnic media in their representation and empowerment of African women. Panelists speaking on online media will look both at African feminism, representation and cultural exchange between the UK, USA, Nigeria and Ghana.

Dr Oluyinka Esan

Dr Esan is a Reader in Media and Film at the University of Winchester. Her paper titled 'Defining Women’s Voices: Across Borders and Over the Years' draws on secondary data for an historical perspective, and primary data for contemporary empirical evidence. It focuses on patterns of participation of women as media professionals in a sample of Nigerian television channels that cater for audiences both in Nigeria and its diaspora.

Dr Pauline Long

Dr Long is a Kenyan born and UK based entrepreneur and founder of BEFFTA, an awards ceremony honouring the best in showbiz and entertainment personalities in the black and ethnic communities. She will be speaking about the role of ethnic media in improving the representation of African women in the British media.

Krys Osei

Krys Osei is a full-time Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London who is committed to normalising and celebrating diverse representations of Black women throughout sites of popular culture as a form of image activism. Her Ph.D. research explores the intimate correlation between cultural production and audience consumption of the web series An African City amongst second-generation Ghanaian women throughout the urban diasporic locales of Accra, London and Washington, DC.

Diretnan Bot

Diretnan Bot is a second year Ph.D. student at the Department of Media, Communications and Sociology at the University of Leicester, UK. Diretnan’s research interests are: the construction of gender using technology, African feminist discourse, and Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) focusing on gender ideology and identity in (online) media discourse.

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I hope to see you soon.

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