Cristin-resultat-ID: 1725999
Sist endret: 18. september 2019, 09:16

Between God's Sharing Power and Men's Controlling Power: A Quest for Daiconal Empowerment and Transformation in Femmes Pour Christ in Cameroon

  • Terese Bue Kessel



Misjonshøgskolens forlag
NVI-nivå 0

Om resultatet

Publiseringsår: 2014
Antall sider: 251



Teologi og religionsvitenskap


Kamerun • Kvinnebevegelse • Diakoni • Femmes pour Christ

Fagfelt (NPI)

Fagfelt: Teologi og religionsvitenskap
- Fagområde: Humaniora

Beskrivelse Beskrivelse


Between God's Sharing Power and Men's Controlling Power: A Quest for Daiconal Empowerment and Transformation in Femmes Pour Christ in Cameroon


The work investigates the movement Femmes Pour Christ (FPC) – Women for Christ – in Eglise Evangélique Luthérienne au Cameroun (EELC), and asks do women experience empowerment and transformation in home, church and society through the practices of Women for Christ? If so, how do they experience it? To answer this question I have conducted qualitative interviews in Ngaoundéré with 17 semi-rural women active in the movement. The interviewee material has been analysed with the use of diakonia theories from the perspective of empowerment and transformation. The aim of the FPC is to contribute to women’s spiritual and material development and empower her to participate in her own transformation. In the weekly FPC groups in church the Christian teaching of gender equality creates a space of dignity and inclusion. An ecclesial subject is created and empowered to contribute to the life of the church. The Christian identity is experienced as essential in order to change life. The women carry out a mutual diakonia of visiting the sick and bereaved in the neighbourhoods in a context where disease and death is frequent. They create a mutual emergency social capital to lean on in times of crises. The FPC group is experienced as a space of belonging and sharing. As for home, semi-rural women are challenged to implement here what they learn in the FPC groups about home and health, children and husband. Contextual gender patterns are embedded in the FPC sensitisation to such an extent that semi-rural women are not empowered to question gender oppression at home. At home they maintain a self-perception provided by the context which is to be subordinate to men. Women in general endure domestic violence for the sake of the children. Home is experienced as a space of loneliness and unpredictability. In society semi-rural women are excluded from fully participating due to a weak family economy. The FPC is more concerned about women’s spiritual and social development than about the devolvement of women’s income generating activities. Life in society is experienced as a space of never ending search for food and money, of having responsibility for the economy and well-being for both the family and the church. In spite of the FPC being identified by the EELC as a movement of evangelisation, and in spite of the lack of a systematic diaconal reflection in the church, hence in the FPC, FPC women carry out dimensions of ecumenical diakonia understood as belonging and sharing. This differs from a diakonia understood as carried out by professionals in institutions. The African context provides options to practice care, hence contributes to shaping Christian women’s diaconal identity. The FPC as such is a justice project for women in a context where gender discrimination is woven into social life. The FPC is manoeuvering in a complicated landscape where the context limits an exploration and articulation of what gender equality means in women’s everyday life. A more systematised diaconal reflection can provide legitimacy to perform a rights-based diakonia and empower the movement to challenge with more determination gender discrimination. For empowerment and transformation to be realised and be real, these processes have to be initiated within all the spaces where women perform as mothers, wives, farmers, bayam-sellams, débrouillards, and as church women, and be fostered by gender equality. Women at the periphery demonstrate a diakonia of compassion without being explicitly conscious of the empowerment processes they partake in and the potential power in the movement if they were to see that diakonia also implies justice for women. FPC women live in a tension between God’s sharing power and men’s controlling power.


Terese Bue Kessel

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Fakultet for teologi, diakoni og ledelsesfag ved VID vitenskapelige høgskole
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