Digitized gender culture on Facebook: the case of Due Process Advocate and the fight against domestic violence in Nigeria
This study aims at evaluating whether Facebook has influenced Nigerian women to speak up and seek justice for domestic violence and related cases. A study by wearesocial.com (2018) reveals that 15 million Nigerians are using various social media platforms. Out of this number, noi.polls.com (2018), reports that 93percent of Nigerian women use Facebook, 76percent use WhatsApp, while 22percent use Blackberry Messenger. In support of these statistics, Hayes and Amah (2018) asserts that majority of Nigerian women are now utilizing the opportunities provided by the social media. A case in hand is the Due Process Advocate, DPA which is a Facebook group where many Nigerian women report issues of domestic violence and seek justice. DPA was founded by Emeka Ugwuonye, a Nigerian Lawyer who fights for women by providing free legal services to victims of domestic violence and related cases. This study is aimed at ascertaining the nature of domestic issues reported to DPA as well as finding out if members are satisfied with the services they get from the Founder. Theoretically, the study is situated in the philosophies of Fourth Wave Feminism and networked feminism which are perspectives that explain women’s use of internet and new information technologies for empowerment. Qualitative content analysis was adopted in analyzing contents posted on the Facebook page of DPA. Purposively, all the nine cases reported in the month of September were selected due to the number of comments they generated from DPA members. Findings show majority of the cases were reported by victims in order to secure divorce due to issues like rape, beating, injuries, cheating, attempted murder and abandonment. The study also revealed DPA members are satisfied with the manner in which justice are given to victims of domestic violence. Digital media have therefore allowed women to report and seek justice against domestic violence in Nigeria.
Keywords: Digitized Gender Culture, Due Process Advocate, Domestic Violence, Fourth Wave Feminism, Networked Feminism