Patterns in Making Victims’ Gender Visible or Invisible in News Media Reporting of Boko Haram’s Massacres and Kidnappings

Nathan Beel, Kate Jonathan


Boko Haram, a terrorist group based in Nigeria, has systematically conducted gender-based mass kidnappings and killings throughout its history, and these gendered crimes have included both male and female victims. This research examined newspaper articles on Boko Haram’s gendered crimes reported from July 2013 to February 2021, with a focus on the relative visibility of the gender of the victims. The genders of male and female abductees were clearly identified; however, the gender of male massacre victims was relatively invisible irrespective of whether they were men or boys. A failure to report the gendered nature of the massacres may contribute to lower awareness and, thus, reduced security resourcing needed to address such severe human rights violations.


gender, visibility, gender-based violence, news media

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