Gender, poverty and the church : a case study of refugee women of the Gilgal International Fellowship Church in Durban, South Africa.
Sisango, Jacques Kasindi.
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This study is centred on refugee women from the Great Lakes Region (Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo) living in Durban and who face numerous challenges that have contributed to their poverty and social inequality. These challenges include, inter alia, unemployment, language barriers, gender-biased violence, xenophobia and other socio-economic problems. This dissertation seeks to critically investigate some of the gender-sensitive challenges that these refugee women face and which make them vulnerable to abuse and discrimination in society. Although a plethora of literature has been written on the challenges of refugee women in Africa, there is not much written on the challenges of refugee women who live in cities in South Africa. This study involves twenty-two participants, consisting of twenty women and two male church leaders of GIFC in Durban where these refugee women now live and work. The study argues that the Church should engage in gender-sensitive empowerment programmes for refugee women in order to empower them to respond to their challenges. The research is based on the premise that GIFC has the mandate to address the challenges and concerns faced by refugee women vide a holistic approach to their problems.