The role of the church in bridging the gender inequality gap in Malawi through secondary school education : a case of the Livingstonia Synod

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Gender equality stands as one of key important elements of development discourse and practice. Nevertheless, for a long time there have been several barriers to women’s participation in development due to patriarchal systems which do not enable women to contribute fully to development. Education is one of the tools that empowers humans by unleashing their potential towards meaningful participation in society both through the empowerment of skilled labor and via the ability it develops in order for people to understand and act on addressing challenges which may lead to a better life. Malawi is widely recognised as a country with high levels of gender inequality and in addition itis also identified as one of the countries in the world where many girls do not make it to secondary school. For those that do, there remain high dropout rates emanating from either early pregnancy and early marriages or financial challenges. These challenges raise the question as to the role of the church in addressing the challenges of the Malawian girl child with regards to its role in education. This study, therefore, aims at investigating the role of the church in bridging the gender inequality gap in Malawi by using the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian as the case study in its involvement in the provision of education at secondary school level to gain an in-depth understanding on this issue. Through lenses of African Women Theologies cultural hermeneutics and Gender and Development theory, the study seeks to critically analyse the Malawian socio-cultural context and investigate how this problem is still persistent in spite of the various efforts from the different stakeholders. It, therefore, critically analyses developmental strategies such as the Sustainable Development Goals in relation to issues concerning gender equality and investigates government policies intended to increase the enrolment rates and increase school retention have impact girl child. In analysing the approach of the Synod of Livingstonia, the research observes that the Synod is an important actor in the provision of education in Malawi, especially in the northern region. The Synod also plays a critical role in the implementation of various programs that deal with different social issues, some of which affect a girl child directly. The study finds that while the Synod should be commended for it work with regards to this issue, recommendations such as the Synod getting involved in not only training ministers on issues of gender equality but other congregants with the aim that they will train fellow congregants on these issues are made.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen opsomming beskikbaar.
Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2023.