A critical evaluation of the gendered nature of HIV and AIDS programs in medical missions of the Church of Christ, Mashoko Mission in Zimbabwe

Mudzanire, Suspicion (2019-04)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Despite collective efforts by government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and other key stake holders to eradicate gender inequalities in health issues, gender remains a determining factor that intensifies the scourge of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe. This study observes that gender disparities should be considered in inceptions of administrative structures of Churches, NGOs, state health systems and other stakeholders that combat the adverse socio-economic impact of the scourge. This investigation is motivated by the conviction that the church, in its missional endeavours, has a crucial role to play in alleviating the impact of both gender injustice and the HIV pandemic in church and the society. The research explores, from a missional and a feminist perspective, the gendered nature of the HIV and AIDS programs offered in medical missions of the Church of Christ at Mashoko Mission in Zimbabwe. The aim being to assess how the programs are framed for a gender sensitive healing ministry, which is a dimension of the all-inclusive missio Dei. The study takes gender justice as a missional issue that implores high priority attention from the church. The study attempts to point out some gender mainstreaming achievements and gaps in the HIV and AIDS programs at Mashoko Christian Hospital (MCH). It further discusses some implications of the gendered nature of the HIV and AIDS programs for the all-inclusive missio Dei. The findings of the research indicate that the gender disparities in the HIV and AIDS programs mirror the societal perceptions as well as teachings and praxis of the church. While the gender imbalances exacerbate the impact of HIV and AIDS, the epidemic intensifies the deeply ingrained gender disparities in the society. However, some institutionalised socio-cultural, economic and religious factors fuelling gender disparities, such as patriarchy and gendered labour practices, are both preventable and manageable. In light of the mandate of the church in the all- inclusive missio Dei, these factors require the church to play a leading role in fighting both gender injustice and the HIV pandemic. Further, the study attempts to forward some recommendations to the church based on the findings of the research. The recommendations are meant to sustain and enhance gender justice achievements as well as proposing potential strategies to bridge the gender sensitivity gaps in the HIV and AIDS programs offered in the medical missions of the Church of Christ at MCH and probably to the rest of Zimbabwe. The respect for equal human dignity and the all-inclusive missio Dei can be the basis for seeking to achieve the long overdue gender justice in the ongoing battle against the epidemic. In the end, the study also raises some points for further research in the area of Christian mission in relation to gender and HIV and AIDS.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Ondanks kollektiewe pogings deur die regering, nie-regerings-organisasies (NGOs), en ander sleutel belanghebbendes om gender-ongelykheid in kwessies oor gesondheid uit te wis, bly gender ‘n bepalende faktor wat die plaag van MIV en Vigs in Zimbabwe vererger. Hierdie studie bemerk dat gender-verskille in ag geneem moet word by die ontstaan van administratiewe strukture van kerke, NGOs, staats-gesondheidstrukture en ander belanghebbendes wat die ongunstige sosio-ekonomiese impak van hierdie plaag bestry. Hierdie ondersoek is gemotiveer deur die oortuiging dat die kerk, in haar missionale strewes, ‘n noodsaaklike rol kan speel in die verligting van die impak van beide gender-onreg en die MIV-pandemie in die kerk en samelewing. Die navorsing ondersoek die gender-aard van die MIV-en-Vigs-programme in die mediese uitreike van die Church of Christ by Mashoko Mission in Zimbabwe. Die doel is om te assesseer hoe die programme ontwerp is vir ‘n gender-sensitiewe genesende bediening, wat ‘n dimensie is van die alles-insluitende missio Dei. Die studie werk met gender-geregtigheid as ‘n missionale kwessie wat smeek vir voorkeur-aandag van die kerk. Die studie streef ook om sommige prestasies en tekorte in terme van die toonaangewende posisie van gender in die MIV-en-Vigs-program van die Mashoko Christian Hospital (MCH), uit te wys. Dit bespreek ook sommige van die implikasies van die gender-spesifieke aard van die HIV-en-Vigs-programme vir die alles-insluitende missio Dei. Die bevindings van die navorsing dui aan dat die gender-ongelykhede in die MIV-en-Vigs-programme, maatskaplike persepsies sowel as lering en praxis van die kerk weerspieël. Terwyl gender-wanbalanse die impak van MIV en Vigs vererger, verskerp die epidemie diep-gewortelde gender-dispariteite in die samelewing. Sommige gevestigde sosio-kulturele, ekonomiese en godsdienstige faktore wat gender-ongelykhede aanvuur, onder meer patriargie en gender-arbeidspraktyke, is egter voorkombaar en bestuurbaar. In die lig van die kerk se mandaat in die alles-insluitende missio Dei, vra hierdie faktore dat die kerk ‘n leidende rol speel in die bevegting van beide gender-onreg en die MIV-pandemie. Die studie poog ook om, op grond van die bevindings van die navorsings, sommige aanbevelings aan die kerk te maak. Die doel van die aanbevelings is om gender-geregtigheid-prestasies vol te hou en te verbeter, en ook om potensiële strategieë aan te bied vir die tekorte in terme van gender-sensitiwiteit in die MIV-en-Vigs-programme wat aangebied word by die mediese uitreike van die Church of Christ by MCH en waarskynlik in die res van Zimbabwe. Respek vir gelyke menswaardigheid en alles-insluitende missio Dei kan die grondslag wees om lank-uitstaande gender-geregtigheid in die deurlopende stryd teen die epidemie, te behaal. Uiteindelik noem die studie ook enkele punte vir verdere navorsing op die gebied van Christelike sending in verhouding tot gender en MIV en Vigs.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105830
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