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Liberating the ‘Mistress' in Africa: The Prophetic Role of Development Communication
Inspired by the arguments of J. S. Mill and in solidarity with the quest of women throughout the world, but particularly in Africa, for the recognition of their fundamental human rights, this paper contends that development communication has an invaluable prophetic role to play in liberating the ‘mistress' (women) in Africa as an imperative for development in the continent. The struggle for the recognition and respect of human rights of every person must remain a continual struggle, often requiring prophetic voices to call society to its moral responsibilities toward the weak, the voiceless and those who are socially marginalized. This paper identifies the role of development communication and the development communicator as prophetic, where prophet serves as a metaphor to refer to the unending conscience of the society. By identifying some situations of the mistress in Africa, the paper will show the “sufferings, immoralities, evil of all sorts, produced in innumerable cases by the subjection of …women” and why such situations “are far too terrible to be overlooked” (Mill 85) not only because they are a brutal violation of human rights but also because of their consequences for development in Africa.
Gender and Behaviour Vol. 5 (2) 2007: pp. 1290-1301