The Place and Role of Women in the S.D.A. Church in Kenya (1911-1990)
Okemwa, Pacificah Florence
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This study examines the place and role of women in the S.D.A. Church in Kenya. The theoretical framework used in this study examines patriarchy as the basis of women's subjugation. This is because the patriarchal society clearly defined what women should do, say and how they should behave. Women's sphere of influence was the home. The basic argument in this study is that women have been relegated to a subordinate position. Consequently, these women only play minor roles in the church. Chapter One outlines the procedure that used in investigating and analysing data. It also lays out the methodology used. Chapter two describes the traditional Gusii society. It uncovers some of the subtle aspects of this society plus some practices and beliefs that are oppressive to women. This information is used as a basis for analysis in later chapters. Chapter three examines Adventist missionary education. This discussion shows how the missionary education contributed to the subordination of women in the S.D.A. Church in Kenya. The missionaries trained men to become evangelists while women were encouraged to get married to the mission boys. Chapter four , examines the factors influencing the place and role of women in the S.D.A. Church. These include the white missionaries who have been serving the S.D.A. Church in Kenya since its establishment, the Bible, the teaching of Ellen G. White and the culture of the Abagusii. This chapter also analyses the ordination practice In the S.D.A. Church. Attempt is made to show how ordination has been used to keep women out of the leadership positions and decision making in the church. In Chapter five, the roles of women in the S.D.A.Church are described and interpreted. Here, it is observed that women play only minor roles. Finally, we conclude that the S.D.A. Church has hampered the wholistic development and participation of women in church affairs. Therefore, it is suggested that the S.D.A.Church has to open all ministries to women in order for it to adhere to the authentic christian principles.