#FixtheCountry – Youth and Gender Activism in Ghana

Red background with a clenched fist in black around the wrist is a banner in white with the slogan #fixthecountry in bold black writing

This webinar focuses on the role of youth and gender activism in Ghana from historical and contemporary perspectives. We explore the role of activism in relation to Ghana as a democracy and discuss what spaces youth and women take up when seeking to hold shifting governments accountable and demand change.  

During the general elections held in Ghana in 2020, digital media played a prominent role and were especially used by the large groups of youth. Online media were also used to flag and promote candidates by women’s groups (especially young female political candidates), and were additionally used as a form of ‘internet vigilantism’ shifting or expanding organised violence to online platforms. Generally, youth have expressed their dissatisfaction with the ruling government with the campaigns such as #FixTheCountry showcasing development problems including unemployment, access to education and corruption. What kind of democratic space is online activism? And how does this form of activism reflect or depart from earlier forms of activism in Ghana? What larger trends of democratization in Ghana do these forms of activism represent?  

In the 2020 elections, the main opposition party NDC (National Democratic Congress) had a woman as a vice presidential candidate Professor Jana Naana Opoku-Agyeman and a manifesto with a list of gender issues to be addressed including more women in politics and adoption of an affirmative action policy. However, the ruling party NPP (New Patriotic Party) won the elections. Which role did the focus on gender play in election campaigns? What is the status post-election of women in politics? What have the responses been from gender activists and the affirmative action coalition?

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Webinar programme: 

  • Program (each presentation will consist of a 15 minutes presentation and five minutes Q&A):
  • 15.30 – 15.40: Introduction and welcome by Eleanor Fisher and Karen Lauterbach
  • 15.40 – 16.00: ‘The Assembled Youth with Social Media and the Hashtag Activism in Political Campaigns in Ghana’, by Eliasu Mumuni
  • 16.00 – 16.20: ‘‘We also played a role’: Gender and student activism in Ghana’, by Eugenia Naana Anderson
  • 16.20 – 16.40: ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling? The 2020 Ghana Elections and Women’s Political Representation’, by Diana Højlund Madsen
  • 16.40 – 17.00: Final discussion
Presenters:
  • Karen Lauterbach, Director, Associate Professor, Centre of African Studies
  • Eleanor Fisher, Head of the Research Unit, Professor, Nordic Africa Institute
  • Eugenia Anderson, PhD student, Department of History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
  • Eliasu Mumuni, PhD, Head of Department of Communication, Innovation and Technology, University of Development Studies, Tamale
  • Diana Højlund Madsen, Senior Researcher, Nordic Africa Institute