Terrorists have increasingly focused recruitment efforts on women. Wilson Center Africa Program Scholar Frederick Ogenga is studying the phenomenon to better understand the role of women in violent extremism in Kenya and the role that media can play in framing, portraying, and maybe even preventing the activity. Can an African-centric media approach contribute to preventing women from becoming involved in facilitating and perpetrating terrorism? And what lessons can governments, international actors, and Kenyan media learn from how media in other regions of Africa affected by terrorism have approached these issues? Dr. Ogenga’s search for answers to these questions and more provides the focus for this edition of Wilson Center NOW.


Frederick Ogenga, a Wilson Center Africa Program Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar, is the Head of the Department of Communication, Journalism and Media Studies at Rongo University College in Kenya. Dr. Ogenga is also Founding Director of the Center for Media, Democracy, Peace & Security (CMDPS). He writes expert commentaries for the Daily Nation and Standard mainstream newspapers in Kenya and has contributed several peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles on media, elections, conflict, and peacebuilding in Africa in journals such as Journal of African Elections, Africa Conflict and Peace-building Review, Conflict and Communication Online, Media and Democracy Journal, Global Media Journal, Journal of Journalism and Mass Communication, Africa Journal of Democracy and Governance, and Semiotica - Global Journal of Semiotics. He is a beneficiary of the 2014 Africa Diaspora Fellowship (ADF) and recipient of the 2014 African Peacebuilding Network (APN) Research Grant. He has worked as a visiting scholar on media and sociology at the Institute for the Advancement of Social Sciences (IASS) at Boston University. In 2015, Dr. Ogenga was appointed a Visiting Researcher at the African Studies Center, also at Boston University.

John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.