“Woman, I have told you not to speak”: Portrayals of Women in Popular Ghanaian Movies

Andy Ofori-Birikorang, Dorcas Anima Donkor


The study examines the portrayal of women in popular Ghanaian movies and how such portrayals mirror social reality. The study is premised on the grounds that movies like any conventional film are key sites where identities of women are constructed and contested on a regular basis; in addition, many of these movies are situated in patriarchal cultures and tend to reproduce the dominant ideology reinforcing female stereotypes. Through textual qualitative content analysis of six popular Ghanaian movies, and anchored on stereotype theory, the study showed that; first, quantitatively,  women were well represented in the movies contrary to assertions in earlier studies; second, that the  dominant patriarchal  qualification of as women as vituperative, dependent, domestic, diabolic, sex objects, accommodating, enduring, and gullible were employed in their portrayals. The paper contends that the portrayals reinforce the subjugation of women because they potentially increase men’s disdain for women, sow distrust amongst women and strengthen the forces which push them to the fringes of social life. The study concludes that the images of women presented in these movies reinforce the stereotyping of women and mirror the traditional settings in which their role, performances and subjectivities in real society are situated.

Keywords: African film, Popular Ghanaian movies, Stereotype, Patriarchy, Images of women

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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