This research primarily aims to highlight the interconnections among social activists, social media, and ordinary public in the actor-network encompassing women empowerment in Malaysia. The secondary aim is to expand the knowledge gap on active social activists’ perspective toward the development of the country’s women empowerment. Qualitative interview was used to create a holistic research on interviewee’s personal involvement toward women empowerment in Malaysia. The following themes were derived from the data analysis: an association exists between women empowerment and #MeToo movement; communication barriers to popularizing women empowerment; vulnerable groups in search of gender equality; and opinions toward policymakers’ attitudes in Malaysia. Actor-network theory was employed in highlighting the roles of human and non-human actants in the communication network. It suggested whether a unified hashtag is required to discuss gender equality issues in Malaysia. This research also highlights the research gap of the contemporary viewpoint from the social activists who aimed to empower their audience in Malaysia. Results provide insights into how opinion leaders and policy makers should construct strategies toward reaching their intended audience.

Bahasa Abstract

Tujuan utama dari penelitian ini adalah untuk menyoroti hubungan antara aktivis sosial, media sosial, dan masyarakat dalam “actor-network” yang melibatkan pemberdayaan perempuan di Malaysia. Tujuan kedua adalah meningkatkan pengetahuan tentang perspektif aktivis sosial terhadap pengembangan pemberdayaan perempuan di Malaysia. Wawancara kualitatif digunakan untuk membuat penelitian holistik tentang keterlibatan pribadi narasumber terhadap pemberdayaan perempuan di Malaysia. Berdasarkan analisis data, tema-tema yang muncul dari hasil wawancara, yaitu keterkaitan antara pemberdayaan perempuan dan gerakan #MeToo; hambatan komunikasi untuk mempopularkan pemberdayaan perempuan; kelompok rentan yang mencari kesetaraan gender; dan pendapat terhadap sikap pembuat kebijakan di Malaysia. Penelitian ini berhasil menggunakan “Actor-Network Theory” dalam menyoroti peran aktor manusia dan non-manusia dalam jaringan komunikasi. Temuan ini menyarankan apakah tagar terpadu diperlukan untuk membahas tentang masalah kesetaraan gender di Malaysia. Penelitian ini juga menyoroti kesenjangan penelitian sudut pandang kontemporer dari para aktivis sosial yang bertujuan untuk memberdayakan kelompok sosialnya di Malaysia. Hasil riset ini memberikan wawasan tentang bagaimana para pemimpin dan pembuat kebijakan harus menyusun strategi untuk menjangkau kelompok sosial yang mereka tuju.


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