The Voicelessness of the Subaltern in the Era of Covid 19: The Absence of Women’s voice about Covid-19 in Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.SE.22.01.Art007

Authors : Abigail Olubukola Irele


The Covid- 19 pandemic has ravaged the whole world. It has affected humankind and disturbed the daily lives of people. There have been many voices about the pandemic from the medical care people as well as ordinary people. Women who are the subaltern in society have been voiceless. In Nigeria, the media commentators on the pandemic have been males. The female voice has not been heard in the public sphere such as in the media. Newspaper sources have been used essentially to cover some of the events during Covid- 19 lockdown in Nigeria.  The purpose of this study is to report the non-representation and non-inclusion of women in the decision process as well as in the overall public sphere of Nigerian society and how to include them in the public sphere and the society’s decision process. The study adopted the content analysis of two selected newspapers’ reportage of events during the Covid-19 lockdown using a qualitative research approach.  Two Nigerian online newspapers were analyzed. The study found that Nigerian women’s voices were not heard in the discourse on Covid-19. Almost all the newspapers in Nigeria did not have women in the discursive space about Covid-19. Nigerian women should be given a voice in the discussion about Covid-19 or any other related health pandemic in the future so that they could be sensitized about the danger inherent in any pandemic. The policy-making body should have women representatives to make it inclusive and show that women are not marginalized in society.

Keywords: Covid-19, Public Sphere, Subaltern, Two Nigerian Online Newspapers, Women.


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