The calling of the Reformed Church in Mozambique towards gender equality in church and society
Nobre, M. J. C.
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This study has emerged from the observation that there is not a single ordained female minister in the Reformed Church in Mozambique, which is in contrast with the fact that the female gender has attained significant success with regard to their position worldwide. In comparison to the times when women had no rights at all in the family circle or in the church and society at large, the above-mentioned success of women has been a struggle, fought not only by women, but by men as well (Chiziane, 2014:22). Though the female gender has made significant strides, the researcher strongly believes that at the present stage much has still to be investigated regarding the field of gender equality, either in church or society at large. The assumption is that the Reformed Church in Mozambique can partake in the missio Dei by transforming the church and society towards gender equality. The study firstly considers the revelational biblical and missiological narrative in order to gain knowledge on gender relationships therein. Secondly, the study is confined to the context of Mozambican society to determine gender relationships, given that some of the challenges that women (girls) face start or occur within the immediate family circle, which is the nucleus of the society. Then the history of the Reformed Church in Mozambique, which is now officially 107 years old (Gouws, 2005:19), is taken into consideration to establish a background to gender issues in this church. In ecclesiastical circles, where gender discrimination would not be expected to occur, women are still being sidelined to this day. As observed by Magagula (2014), there are no women serving in the pastoral offices of the church and since 1994, when the Reformed Church in Mozambique founded HEFSIBA, the church’s pastors training college, not a single woman has been trained so far. The ultimate purpose of this study is to assess how the Reformed Church in Mozambique can participate in the missio Dei by promoting gender equality in the church and society as well to develop a preliminary paradigm in order to help the church in this task.
- Theology