The Matriarchs of the Church in Zambia: Tracing the Life Trajectory and Contributions of Mary Xavier Walsh and the Catholic Women’s League in Zambia

  • Nelly - Mwale University of Zambia
Keywords: Religion, gender, women, matriarch, Catholic Women’s League


Sr. Mary Xavier Walsh was a matriarch in a patriarchal church and society. Through the analysis of documentary evidence the paper explores her life trajectory as a matriarch of the church through her influence on and contributions to women in the church, with specific reference to the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) in Zambia. In addition to fulfilling multiple roles within and outside the home (including both formal and informal employment ventures), women make time for church activities and provide leadership, in that way contributing to development in various spheres. The paper demonstrates that contrary to the perception of women in religion as being oppressed, jobless and alienated from the pulpit, they can be agents of change in their own communities and beyond.

Author Biography

Nelly - Mwale, University of Zambia
Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies


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