Original Research - Special Collection: Religion and Theology and Constructions of Earth and Gender

Gender justice, law and religion in Zimbabwe: An evaluation of the role of sacred texts

Lillian Mhuru
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 3 | a8160 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i3.8160 | © 2023 Lillian Mhuru | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2022 | Published: 24 March 2023

About the author(s)

Lillian Mhuru, Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, Zimbabwe Open University, Harare, Zimbabwe


Gender equality is something that the human race has been struggling with since time immemorial. No country has achieved gender equality despite the legislative, social, and economic gains for women. Therefore, modern society likes to blame certain groups, such as religion for the gender inequalities which are faced, more than others. The main focus of this study is to evaluate the role of religious leaders in promoting gender equality through the legislation and religious texts in Zimbabwe. The study further explores how certain religious norms and practices can be modified through religious texts to accommodate women in achieving gender equality. The paper acknowledges that religious leaders have a greater responsibility to standup, speak and act with and on behalf of those with less power, such as the marginalized and discriminated against, including exploited planet Earth. The paper seeks to foreground how certain traditional religious practices and norms have exacerbated gender inequality in Zimbabwe, despite the laws that have been enacted by the government of Zimbabwe to promote gender equality. The data for the paper was gathered through observations and semi-structured interviews conducted with both religious leaders and women to establish how religious norms and practices directly or indirectly affect women and how they can be modified to achieve gender equality in Zimbabwe. The data gathered was analysed through descriptive data analysis. The paper concludes by recommending that religious leaders should be thoroughly trained on how to promote gender equality through religious texts and legislation.

Contribution: The article evaluated the role of religious leaders in promoting gender equality through legislation and religious texts in Zimbabwe. It argued that religious leaders have a higher need to support, advocate and act on behalf of individuals who are marginalised and subjected to discrimination on planet Earth. Hence, its contribution was in promoting gender equality through religious texts and legislation in Zimbabwe for sustainable development.


Gender; religion; equality; law; religious leaders; women; Zimbabwe.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 5: Gender equality


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