College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Arts in Composition (MA)


Tess Martinus


storytelling, gender inequality, advocacy


Rhetoric and Composition


The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically widened existing spheres of gender inequality, increasing disparities related to poverty, forced marriage, maternal mortality, gender-based violence, economic vulnerability, and illiteracy. For organizations aiming to rectify these areas of inequality, storytelling is a powerful tool for advocacy. This thesis investigates the intersection of storytelling and advocacy, focusing on the writing strategies utilized by leading gender-equality-oriented organizations. Utilizing Grounded Theory (GT) methodology, this thesis explores the emerging patterns and themes that arise in organizational storytelling strategies across differing contexts. An introduction chapter provides insights into the subject matter, highlighting existing knowledge gaps and rationalizing this study’s contribution to modern scholarship. A comprehensive literature review provides insights into contemporary gender inequality, advocacy, and storytelling, highlighting existing research relevant to this investigation. The methodology chapter outlines the implementation of GT, including research design, data collection, and coding, while the results chapter presents the key findings emerging from this study: a Storytelling Framework for Gender Equality. The discussion section offers both a narrative explanation and theoretical application of this framework and a discussion of research limitations and avenues for additional scholarship.