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(Gender) partnership as a transforming paradigm for development in the Church and society

Onwunta, Ester ; August, Karel T. (2012-04)

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Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

CITATION: Onwunta, E. & August, K. T. 2012. (Gender) partnership as a transforming paradigm for development in the Church and society. HTS Theological Studies, 68(2):1-9, doi:10.4102/hts.v68i2.1065.


This research article made the case for (gender) partnership as an integral part of effective people-centred participatory development theory. Over the years, development has been taught and practiced in different ways. In the contemporary African context, it is a term that is frequently used and even misused by many people and organisations that are involved in development programmes, which truncate rather than transform the people and communities they claim to develop. This article presented a brief survey of some definitions and views on development and argued for a holistic approach to development, one which is anchored on partnership as an essential element in God’s mission; that is, the missio Dei. It highlighted the reasons for, ideals of and obstacles to true partnership in development.

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