Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/21888
Title: Women’s Engagement with Radio Broadcasting in Post-Colonial Ghana, 1960-1975
Authors: Amoah-Boampong, C.
Gadzekpo, A.
Perbi, A.
Akrofi-Quarcoo, S.
University of Ghana, College of Humanities School of Arts, Department of History
Keywords: Engagement
Radio Broadcasting
Post-Colonial
Women
Issue Date: Jul-2015
Publisher: University of Ghana
Abstract: What did Ghanaian Women do with Radio, for what purposes and to what ends? Combining scholarship from gender and colonialism with media theories, archival research (written and audio), and oral history, this study on Women’s Radio history explores Ghanaian Women’s relationships with Radio, “an important Imperialist asset” involved in the mission of “civilising” primitive Africans and empire-building. The overarching theoretical foundation for the study is modernisation, packaged as Victorian styled “domesticity” a framework for British cultural imperialism. The study argues that women across various levels of social and cultural power, appropriated Radio and transformed it into a resource to contest their subordination, to expand their communication space and to negotiate new and more equitable gendered relationship within a predominantly patriarchal domestic space. In support of the thesis, the study examines three areas of women’s relationship with radio. Firstly, it explores the employment trajectory of women in radio careers focusing on the pioneers and key personalities and their contribution to the development of radio in Ghana. Secondly, it unearths the neglected history of Women’s Radio Programmes and shows how post-colonial Ghanaian women used the programme space to subvert colonial and neo-colonial agenda of promoting Victorian-styled domesticity and separate women’s sphere. Thirdly, the study examines the history of women’s listening relationship with radio. Findings from the study indicate that by taking up careers in radio, Ghanaian women transcended historical prejudices against women in the exclusively male-defined economic space of Radio Broadcasting to contribute to the development of radio. In their roles as programme producers, journalists, and programme makers, Ghanaian women were agents in the early construction of national unity and the grander agenda of African Unity. The study also found that Ghanaian women had a strong voice on radio using the Women’s Radio Magazine spaces strategically to advocate women’s rights; to educate women on many issues peculiar to their sex and on national issues of health, hygiene, economics, science, sports and patriotism. As radio listeners, post-colonial Ghanaian women were not passive to radio programmes but selective of the programmes they listened to and engaged with content to facilitate their “personal modernity” and integration into “modern society.” This study presents new evidence that aside propaganda, radio was a primary tool of domesticity from the early 1930s. It also addresses critical historical issues regarding the use of radio to propagate Victorian domesticity in post-colonial Ghana particularly after independence. The study rejects the notion that domesticity was a negative feature of post-colonial Ghanaian women’s life and argues that post-colonial Ghanaian women appropriated radio, a domestic technology and a tool of domesticity and transformed it into a resource to foster their integration into “modern society.”
Description: Thesis ( PhD) - University of Ghana, 2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/21888
Appears in Collections:Department of History

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