Interrogating Dominant Ideology in Media Representations of Witchcraft-Related Gendered Violence: The Case of Mariama Akua Denteh

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed


Media studies scholarship in Ghana has disproportionately focused on political communication and press freedom, with few studies taking a feminist approach to understanding the representation of marginalized people in media narratives. Existing scholarship has examined the representation of Ghanaian women in film and music. This study examines the way that women are represented in news media, focusing on one specific incident as a case study. Through framing theory guided by an intersectional African feminist lens, I examine the way that mainstream media represented the lynching of Mariama Akua Denteh. I argue that although news media purport to be objective in news reportage, the patriarchal systems within which media organizations are situated shape the ways in which they report narratives that focus on marginalized communities. I demonstrate how the news frames on the lynching of Madam Denteh demonstrate the marginal position that Ghanaian women occupy and how that can guide us toward deconstructing how intersecting oppressions are treated in narrativizing news stories that focus on marginalized women.


African feminisms, Akua Denteh, feminist journalism, intersectionality, representation, patriarchy, witchcraft accusations

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