Changing the patriarchal attitude of Ovawambo men : can the Bible help?
It is the feeling of the author of this thesis that in Oshiwambo society power and authority in families is invested on the male head. This act has caused the society to be a patriarchal society. In most cases women and children are taken for granted by men that they are there to serve men's interests. This patriarchal society emerged from culture and tradition of Oshiwambo people. Women discrimination starts at birth, when every member ofthe family is sorry that the baby is a girl. Also the way a baby boy is raised is different from the way of a girl. The boy is treated with a great respect while a girl is not. When the church came in the area, did not change this situation. In stead it gave more power to men than to women. Until 1992 women were not allowed to lead the church. Nowadays, there is a general feeling that this patriarchal system is good for nothing. As a response to that feeling the state has taken a stand in the present government that women must be well represented in leadership and holding important positions than before. Still, there have been opposition from some people who are not happy with these changes. They want women to be looked as inferior beings. The author of this thesis is of opinion that there are enough texts in the Bible which say about gender equality. Unfortunately, in most cases, the Oshiwambo men have failed to read these texts in the light of elevating the status ofwomen in their society. Therefore, the problem is not women discrimination as it may sound to the reader, but the real problem is the conservative ideology of men towards women. Men must be liberated from it.