Original Research

A public pastoral assessment of the interplay between ‘she was created inferior’ and cultural perceptions of women by Christian men in Zimbabwe as accessory to gender-based violence

Vhumani Magezi, Peter Manzanga
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2139 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2139 | © 2021 Vhumani Magezi, Peter Manzanga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 August 2020 | Published: 25 March 2021

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, Department of Christian Ministry and Leadership, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Peter Manzanga, Department of Christian Ministry and Leadership, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

The notion woman were created ‘inferior’ and its interplay with the negative cultural perceptions of women by Christian men arguably act as an accessory to gender-based violence (GBV) in the church. Hence, there is a need for the church to rethinks and continually discerns the implications of the creation of man and woman in Genesis 1:26–27 and 2:18. The following question arise: Does the creation of man and woman in Genesis assume women inferiority? What is the interplay between the notion ‘she was created inferior’ and negative cultural perceptions of women? How could the church interrogate this interplay to improve gender relations within church and local cultural contexts? This article utilises a public pastoral care approach as a theoretical lens that the church could employ to address women inferiority as a form of GBV. Firstly, the article examines the interplay between ‘she was created inferior’ and negative cultural gender relations in church that fan GBV. Secondly, it assesses Genesis 1:26–27; 2:18 and 3:1–6 in the context of man and woman creation to discern God’s ideal plan for gender relations. Thirdly, the article establishes how a positive conception of Genesis 1 and 2 could transform certain cultural understandings of women that fan GBV in church. Fourthly, the article proposes public pastoral care roles for the church to mitigate the perception of women inferiority as GBV in church and community.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article considers sociocultural factors that cause GBV and evaluates the phenomenon from a theological perspective to develop GBV ecclesiological interventions. Thus, it considers GBV from a socio-theological and biblical framework. Accordingly, it uses an interdisciplinary approach.


Keywords

gender-based violence; women inferiority to men; women creation; public pastoral care; cultural perceptions of women; church and GBV

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