Rethinking Methods to Curb Gender Discrimination in Church Leadership: The Case of Pentecostal Churches in Zimbabwe
Keywords:patriarchy, feminism, gender discrimination, gender imbalance, mitigation, curb
The patriarchal structure that has pervaded and replicated itself, not only in the society but also in the church, has raised questions on how the church can get out of this quagmire. Many proposals have been propounded from different angles on the topic in question, and this paper seeks to add a voice to the discourse. The paper assesses the effectiveness of methods used in Pentecostal churches in Zimbabwe to address and curb gender discrimination. The research concludes that although Pentecostal churches in Zimbabwe have made concerted efforts to curb gender inequality in the church, the methods used have not been able to effectively mitigate the gender imbalance that previously existed. The research that directed this article was grounded on the Pentecostal hermeneutics theory as well as the African feminist theory. This article acknowledges the valuable inputs of the late Mary-Anne Elizabeth Plaatjies-Van Huffel, who dedicated her work to the cause of gender inclusiveness and the eradication of social injustices. Her vast contribution, as an academic and minister in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), reverberated throughout the theological and academic milieu in southern Africa, and indeed in the world. The researcher used a qualitative approach as well as interviews and participant observation to gather data, together with secondary data from published books and journals. The study recommends educating people about the importance of gender balance and the inclusion of gender, a message of inclusion and new practices and traditions, and the creation of a structure for change. Roadmaps and paths for change are to be built. The research will be beneficial to political, social, economic and religious systems to alter the discrepancies in gender discrimination that are propelled by beliefs, a mind-set and culture proponents that seem to derail the value and contribution of women.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Charity Musvota
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