'n Historiese perspektief op die kapelaansvrou in die Suid-Afrikaanse militêre milieu.
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This article forms part of a larger project on the history of South African military chaplaincy. It provides a review of the role played by the spouses of Permanent Force chaplains in the military context of South Africa. Gender provides one of the most prominent structures of human society and, throughout history, most cultures displayed a patriarchal system in which women took a subordinate position to their male counterparts. Until late in the twentieth century, women in Western culture were mostly responsible for domestic chores, while their husbands served as breadwinners, thereby dominating the economic and political public spheres. Despite the traditional determination of gender roles, women often serve as major variation agents in the narrative of history. The contributions of ordinary women are usually the most extensive and the least acknowledged and, both as individuals and as spouses, they contribute on a daily basis to the wellbeing of societies. In line with the female role paradigm of the late-twentieth century in Western culture, the spouses of South African military chaplains served as a source of support for the spiritual ministry to the armed forces and worked for the wellbeing of the the military society at large. Exploring the role of the spouses of military chaplains in the South African armed forces provides a different perspective on the military context, which is usually defined in masculine terms, and it also contributes to the documentation of the history of South African women. A historical understanding of all the dimensions of military chaplaincy in South Africa will be incomplete without an overview of the contributions of the spouses of chaplains.