Churches as community development locus : addressing the challenges of the girl child in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe

Myambo, Violet (2018-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The girl child in Zimbabwe encounters great suffering emanating from cultural, traditional and, at times, religious factors. These, in total, make the girl child’s life challenges innumerable. While the churches in Zimbabwe are aware of the girl child challenges, they have not related to them effectively. Some of these challenges are related to spiritual beliefs. This study explores the causes of the girl child’s suffering in Zimbabwe and the intersection between gender, culture and development. The reason for this exploration is to discover how these three areas interact with each other as determinants to the just place of women in the community. It also explores the relationship between religion, culture and gender. In this context, it looks at religious and church affiliation in a Zimbabwean context. Thereafter, the thesis explores the concepts of church and gender, the concept of female submission, and theological challenges within Southern Africa. These include the concept of God, the role and status of women in the image of God, a discussion of women in the texts and the concept of sin, salvation and wholeness. The thesis draws mainly on the works of African women theologians although not exclusively, when dealing with theological challenges. Furthermore, the thesis reports on qualitative interviews conducted with selected religious leaders in the Eastern highlands. It uses a qualitative method that seeks to describe and attach meaning to phenomena. This study concludes by providing recommendations as to how the church in Zimbabwe could act as a community development locus in addressing the challenges of a girl child in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Meisie kinders in Zimbabwe ervaar groot lyding wat voortspruit uit kulturele, tradisionele en soms godsdienstige faktore. Hierdie faktore in totaal maak meisie kinders se lewensuitdagings ontelbaar. Terwyl die kerke in Zimbabwe bewus is van die uitdagings, het hulle nie effektief met die uitdagings verband gehou nie. Van hierdie uitdagings is verwant aan geestelike oortuigings. Hierdie studie ondersoek die oorsake van meisie kinders se lyding in Zimbabwe en die interseksie gevind tussen geslag, kultuur en ontwikkeling. Die rede vir hierdie ondersoek is om te ontdek hoe hierdie drie areas met mekaar in wisselwerking tree wat ‘n bepalende invloed het op die posisie van vroue in die gemeenskap. Dit ondersoek ook die verhouding tussen godsdiens, kultuur en geslag. In hierdie konteks kyk die studie na godsdienstige en kerklike affiliasie in 'n Zimbabwiese konteks. Daarna ondersoek die tesis die konsepte van kerk en geslag, die konsep van vroulike voorlegging en teologiese uitdagings binne Suider-Afrika. Dit sluit in die konsep van God, die rol en status van vroue geskape in die beeld van God, 'n bespreking van vroue in die tekste en die konsep van sonde, verlossing en heelheid. Die tesis handel hoofsaaklik oor die werke van Afrika-vroue-teoloë, hoewel dit nie net uitsluitlik teologiese uitdagings hanteer nie. Verder lewer die tesis verslag oor kwalitatiewe onderhoude met geselekteerde godsdienstige leiers in die oostelike hooglande. Dit maak gebruik van ‘n kwalitatiewe metode met die doel om ‘n beskrywing te gee en waarde te heg aan fenomenen. Hierdie studie sluit af deur aanbevelings te verskaf oor hoe die kerk in Zimbabwe as 'n gemeenskapsontwikkelingslokus kan optree om die uitdagings van 'n meisiekind in die Oos-Hooglande van Zimbabwe aan te spreek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103600
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