Roman Catholic Church’s Efforts in Addressing Violence against Women: a Case of Women in Marriage, Maragua Parish, Murang'a County, Kenya
Mburu, Evan Njuguna
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Violence against women (VAW) is a gender-based violence act resulting in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women. VAW is a fundamental violation of human rights. This study was to investigate efforts of the Roman Catholic Church in covering violence against women in Maragua Parish, Murang’a County. Led by the following objectives, the study aims: to find out the prevalence of violence against women in Maragua Parish, to establish the strategies employed by the church to concentrate to violence against women in the parish, to suggest comprehensive mechanism which can be adopted by Maragua parish to address violence against women. The study was carried out in thirteen out station within the parish and it had specific focus on CWA, CMA, married individual not in the two association and the head priest. Radical feminist theory was used. The study employed the stratified sampling method. The target population according to the parish record (2014) was 5,420 as per the Morgan and Krejicie (1970) model determining sample size a total of 357 respondents were targeted to find the sample size per stratum. Data from church members was obtained using questionnaires and the interview schedule for the head priest. Analysis of quantitative data was done with the aid of descriptive statistics entailing frequencies and percentages. Inferential statistics entailed Chi-square tests as spearman and rank correlation order test to confirm the presence of casual relations between variables. The techniques were used to analyze qualitative data collected using interview schedules. Analyzed data was presented in the form of frequency, pie charts, percentages and tables. The study found that 74% of the respondents were aware of violence against women in the parish. Presence of pastoral counseling programs to confirm violence against women was legible as evidence from 32% of the respondents.67% of the respondents deemed themselves to have been aware of the Church teachings .54% of the respondents considered the Church teachings to advocate against domestic violence. The study recommended that the Roman Catholic Church should seek to implore the members to extol the virtues of love and tolerance in marriage as a prerequisite for harmonies coexistence in the households. Catholic Church should accelerate the counseling programs in place with the view to helping reverse the trend with regard to incidence of domestic violence. Activities like workshops, seminars and capacity building forums for the membership should scale up in the Church. The Catholic Church should seek to entrench the practice of involving women in positions of leadership. This may have a positive effective on building their confidence and self-esteem. It may infuse a sense of respect and belonging from the congregants who also include the male members of the community.