African women overcoming patriarchy : a study of women in Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) Church in Rustenburg - South Africa.
This study is an investigation and description of ways in which the Apostolic Faith Mission churchwomen are succeeding in overcoming patriarchy. It also gives a critical evaluation of the extent to which these women are successful in their endeavour to overcome it. Fifteen women from the AFM Church were interviewed using the narrative methodology. This method was chosen to give women freedom to narrate their stories without interference. The data collected was analysed using a feminist theoretical framework on what it means to be human and to be a church. To avoid repetition and to give a room for a detailed analysis, the study was limited to four stories of the AFM churchwomen. Furthermore library research and fieldwork were also used to give a broader picture in analysing the field research work. The findings of this study indicated that women ministries are not taken seriously and are not fully supported by the church. They are still struggling with the issue of partnership because the church does not trust them to be good leaders. It has been noted in this study that patriarchy is the root cause of the marginalization of women of the AFM church. However, the study has demonstrated that women are resisting patriarchy despite the struggles that they are facing inside this church. The study went further to investigate some Biblical texts that advocate for gender equality and to find ways in which the Bible can be used as the source of liberation for both women and men of the AFM church. It has been suggested that the church should engage in the pursuit of Biblical directives for the Body of Christ. The scriptures prove that men and women are given equality by God and also some differences that clearly express the human diversity in general. So, the AFM women are challenging the church to recognise, affirm and celebrate them.
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