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Blogging, Feminism and the Politics of Participation: The Case of Her Zimbabwe

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Abstract

The proliferation of the internet has shown promises and ‘potentials’ of empowering women. Politics, activism and engagements through technology seem to have been gendered spaces as evidenced by research in the developing world. This chapter attempts to demystify the ‘silent’ myth, especially prevalent in the African context, that the internet and technological activism and political domains are solely meant for men. The website ‘Her Zimbabwe’ attempts to empower women as citizens, giving them a platform to speak on issues otherwise ignored in mainstream media or frowned upon by society. It uses material from citizen journalists focusing on women’s issues. Methodologically, this study uses purposive sampling to select material from ‘Her Zimbabwe’ that speaks to issues of women activism since 2012 which is subjected to critical discourse analysis. Theoretically, the chapter is anchored on the issue of the voice in counter-digital public spheres.

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... All of these social indicators are, in a way or another, associated with lower levels of offline political participation. Besides, many African societies, particularly in rural areas, remain highly patriarchal, with (elderly) men being at the center of political life, and limiting women participation (Mpofu, 2016). These forms of gender-based inequality, and their effect on political engagement, have been found to exist in different degrees in the countries we are studying here (cf. ...
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