The potential of rural women in promoting sustainable livelihoods supported by an appropriate theology of development in Katete Catholic Parish, Malawi.
It is a duty of every person of good will in any given community and society to promote freedom and development that enhances the potential of rural women and women in general. One can only achieve this important task by firstly acknowledging that women are persons fully created in the image of God and that they are part and parcel of God's creation in all what is needed for human beings to value and appreciate healthy livelihood in the world. Once this duty is achieved, we will fully conclude that human beings need each other in all social and economic development that helps to promote the potential that every individual has in order to build sustainable livelihoods in a community. This is a big task. This task could be facilitated if local resources, individual capacities, gifts, skills, talents and dedicated people are available in the community. This study has pursued the sustainable livelihoods of the rural women especially those in Katete aiming at enhancing their potential. The major problem that this study has focused is that the society and church in Katete is patriarchal and has failed to give freedom to women so that they could utilize their capacities to participate in social and economic development that would accord them healthy and sustainable livelihoods. The methodology used in order to achieve these goals out of the women of Katete Catholic Parish was through dialogue between the researcher and the women. Through theological reflections, we discovered that the women of Katete have the potential to contribute into the general livelihoods of the people of the area and the women in general. From what the study gave us, we can freely say that women have natural gifts imparted on them by God. The gifts that the women have can change the church and the society's attitude bounded by patriarchal biases against women, which perceives them as second-class citizens in participating fully in developmental agendas of the society.
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