Original Research - Special Collection: Christina Landman Festschrift

Gender inequality: The problem of harmful, patriarchal, traditional and cultural gender practices in the church

Hannelie J. Wood
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5177 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5177 | © 2019 Hannelie J. Wood | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 July 2018 | Published: 12 March 2019

About the author(s)

Hannelie J. Wood, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


This article aims to look at the church’s role in the formation and up-keeping of gender inequality, and how it shaped and constrained gender equality through a stereotypical lens. Harmful and traditional cultural practices contribute to women’s suffering and often result in violence in the patriarchal context. This caused women to renegotiate their identities amidst the church’s views on women and their accepted social roles. Secondly, focus will be placed on gender inequality in the African context. Lastly, I will argue that the church has to confront its views on gender inequality and how it can sanction women’s equality, whereafter I will propose a metaphor for the church as the tree of gender equality.


Gender inequality; patriarchal tradition; culture; church


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