This research builds on a media reception study on West African migrants. It contributes to the debate on the role of media in changing gender relations of migrant women and focuses on West African women in the Bijlmer district of Amsterdam. Women in West Africa experience extreme gender-based rights disparities. Those who migrate often experience mental difficulties caused by the discrepancies in expectations on their social behavior. Their partners primarily expect them to be good wives and mothers, whereas the expectations in European societies are that they become economically independent and build equal relationships with their partners. The focus of this research is on community films and their use by West African women in southeast Amsterdam to cope with changes in role expectations. The hypothesis is that these films help to empower West African migrant women in the capital of The Netherlands by providing narratives, religious and otherwise based on their West African oral culture with which they can identify and which are open for alternative female religious readings.


Key words: films reception, women’s emancipation, West Africa, migration, religion. 



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