Transforming masculinities into an asset for HIV prevention : a case study of how Mabutho's (The UCCSA men's organization) teachings on masculinities can mediate HIV prevention in the UCCSA-Mozambique.
This study explores whether and how Mabutho’s (The UCCSA men’s organization) teachings on masculinities can mediate HIV prevention in the Mozambique Synod of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA). It begins by showing the importance of Mabutho in church and society in order to establish whether this male-dominated Christian organization can play a role in HIV prevention. The study is premised on the growing literature which suggests that organized religion (especially Christianity and Islam)*[¹], which are the main religious institutions in the world, and in Africa in particular, have been the birth place for the patriarchal ideologies which are critical in the promotion of the HIV pandemic. Through a close analysis of Mabutho’s teachings, the study will show that though most of Mabutho’s teachings are sustained by a patriarchal ethos, Mabutho have agency, and can be an asset in the prevention of the HIV pandemic. It further argues that Mabutho, just like other men’s organizations which play a pivotal role in the life of many churches, can be used as a space for the liberation of harmful notions of masculinities in the era of the HIV pandemic. The study concludes by recommending that the UCCSA in Mozambique improve in the pre- and post-marital teachings on marriage and sexuality. *[¹] See Manda, D. (2009). “Religion and the Responsibility of Men in Relation to HIV and Gender Based Violence: An Ethical Call”. In Journal of Constructive Theology: Gender, Religion, and Theology in Africa, 15 (2). 23-40; and Camody, D. (1994). Response to 101 Questions about Feminism. Great Britain, 95.