Masculinization of participation and the absence of female voices on phone-in radio shows in Ogun State Nigeria
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Radio broadcasting has been hailed as one of the numerous factors contributing to the expansion of participation in public affairs in Africa. Such arguments are more often than not premised on the involvement of listeners in radio programmes through calls made into live shows by the listening public. However, the 'democratized' radio space is often dominated by male voices especially in Africa. This paper seeks to unravel the motivation behind the absence of female voices in selected radio shows in Ogun state, Nigeria. Using semi-structured interviews conducted with producers and listeners to two phone-in radio programmes in Ogun state, Nigeria, the paper itemizes reasons behind the muteness of female voices on radio shows in Nigeria. It then proposes that while the preponderance of male voices on live radio shows in Nigeria bespeaks the patriarchal cultural landscape within which media operate in the country, the gendered nature of participation on radio programmes need to be seen as a challenge in the claims to pervasiveness made in favour of radio. The paper concludes that more female voices are needed on phone-in programmes in order to rupture existing power structures which promote the masculinization of the airwaves especially in Africa.
- Faculty of Humanities