Gender equality


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This article seeks to participate in addressing the Paradox of Gender Equality which has become a real problem, especially in the marital life of the Developing Africa

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Gender equality

  1. 1. Gender Equality: A Misconceived Reality By Mutokya Joseph (February 2011)Is a Man equal to a Woman? Absolutely YES, even the Orthodox Church [the Church of myFaith] attests. The difference between this understanding and that of today’s EqualityConception, however, lies in the fact that the contemporary world looks to suggest that “aWOMAN can [and certainly should]” be a MAN, a concept which is completely contrary toGod’s will. The Church as well as the general society, have since time immemorial held that‘a man’ is the head of the family. To date, even the majority of the women [especially here inAfrica] subscribe to this attitude; although there are some, to whom this is an ‘insult’. Howthen should we address this seemingly challenging paradox?For purposes of illustration, let us use the human body. The Church completely holds that aman should be the ‘Head’ of the family. We however acknowledge the importance of all theother parts of the body. While the Head is the ‘mastermind’ of all the human body, it wouldbe extra perturbed if the body’s hand, leg or any other part is ‘cut off’ or nonfunctional. In aquite similar, [though admittedly complex] deduction, the head would surely be useless to thewhole body, if the ‘Neck’ is removed. Thus while a man is held as the ‘head,’ a woman isbetter-fitting to be held as the Neck. This is not to minimize, degrade, or undermine thewoman, for surely the Neck is absolutely equal to the Head---in importance. A head cannever look where it wants, unless the neck takes it there. If the neck aches, and therefore findsdifficulties in changing direction with ease, so the head shall suffer, while the reverse is true.The same way, and as many people attest, the man’s public appearance in strength, integrity,responsibility & general behavior, is usually enough to tell the kind of woman he has athome. A responsible and development minded woman will as a must nurture her husband inthat direction, while the reverse is true. The above foregoing points to the undoubted fact thatin the absence of his wife, a man is most likely to be nonfunctional; yet in the same way thata neck will be useless without the head, a woman would require her head [the husband in thiscase] to fully perform his role, which is depicted in the masculine purpose. Thus the TWOARE SURELY EQUAL. This is absolutely true, for even scripture says, “Let the husbandrender unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband,” 1 Cor.7:3. Indeed if the two are to successfully stay in harmony, each must serve the fullcomplementary duty to the other. Gender Equality A Misconceived Reality Page 1 Article By Mutokya Joseph Saturday, 19 February 2011
  2. 2. The problem, however, is that in the same way the head can never become the neck, it wouldbe surely ridiculous [if really God would grant it happen] to find the neck and the head whenthey have swapped positions on the body. It also follows that just as we would assess such asituation as totally abnormal, we [especially as Africans] only need to helplessly accept toconcur with nature that it is impossible [and unnecessary anyway] for a woman to become aman and vice versa. And if it happens, the anomalies [just as it would be in case the head andthe neck swapped positions] is depicted in the many problems [even some of which] we havealready witnessed and at times tested, arising from the increasing family uncertainties intoday’s world. To your information for example, my dear reader, while we [here in Africa]remain allergic to divorce, the phenomenon has become a completely normal and verynecessary procedure in solving most of the Western world’s marital problems. And while itwould be very good to borrow some things from the other world for the diversity of ourcultures to reduce the so called [and surely sometimes misconceived] primitivism, it is veryimportant for us to remain appreciative to our better cultural values especially in marriage,for this is the industry of society’s population. There is surely no doubt, that despite all thenumerous marital problems faced by our ancestors, they enjoyed marriage and it was moremeaningful and productive in all aspects than in today’s [sometimes] overrated contemporaryand more intellectual world. Let us try to be realistic and practical enough. The same way itwould be an abuse if on his way, a man is called, “Hey Woman;” a woman would surely feelless or disrespected if she is called, “Hey Man!” This, in both cases, demeans the nature ofhumanity. The issue is not that any of the titles above is bad, but rather that, the man will feelas though somebody has judged him as lacking in his masculine character, and likewise, thewoman would feel as though she is quite lacking in her feminine character, which both sexesextremely adore, and indeed should, because it is that which defines the nature of humanity,its purpose and function!Scripture is very clear on here, for in Genesis, we learn that Eve was a lovely appointee ofAdam, who named her ‘Woman’ to express it, that she is part of him, and [certainly] non-existent without him because she was specifically made From him, and for him; to providecompany and help unto him. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man shouldbe alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” Gen (2:18). “And the rib, which the LORDGod had taken from man….” Gen (2:22). God had all the capacity to create Eve from anyother means / material, but He opted to use Adam’s rib because He wanted that these be ONEin TWO, and yet TWO in ONE and appreciatively well-positioned; the same way the Neck is Gender Equality A Misconceived Reality Page 2 Article By Mutokya Joseph Saturday, 19 February 2011
  3. 3. inseparable from the Head, and yet never willing to swap locations. This is God’s wisdom towhich any attempt to go against, can but only be judged as seeking to defy His All-HolyCreating Art. And indeed when all was done, Adam was quick to appreciate saying, “…this isnow bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she wastaken out of Man” Gen (2:23). Thus, seeking to alter the above laid down settings istantamount to questioning and certainly disputing the Mighty Creativity of God, hence anexpression of disbelief.The New Testament simply affirms the above role of a woman. For we see Apostle Paulreasoning to the Corinthians, “For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man,” 1 Cor. (11:8-9);while Peter exhorts that, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. “…nor to usurpauthority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” 1 Peter(2:11-13). Majority of our African cultures were naturally aware of this even before readingthe Divine Scriptures. And Apostle Paul helped to clarify that, “The wife hath not power ofher own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his ownbody, but the wife,” 1 Cor. 7:4.Therefore, Mothers and Sisters should not feel inferior at all, just because the man is beingcalled the Head. They should instead be proud of themselves, especially when societyappreciates their feminine role. On the other hand, men need to realize that women are part ofthem, and in no way inferior as along as they fulfill their feminine role like: The Graciousendurance of the labor pains and nurturing the offspring instead of aborting & abandoningthem, as well as Ensuring that the Image of their Families is appropriate, because theultimate outcome of these, as presents Christ Himself in John 16:20, is “…Joy”. In fact, woeunto him, a man who chooses to neglect his masculine role, because as long as his wifefulfills hers, she is by all means superior to him, for even Adam had to play a prime role forGod to grant him the authority over the one whom, He had from eternity planned for him(Adam). Gender equality lies in the degree to which the two parties fulfill their respectiveroles. Let us try to carefully filter what our Western brethren introduce to us. We should notsay ‘No’ to all, but it would be good if we only got those values which are relevant andcompatible with our cultures. We should for us understand that a woman, especially here inAfrica, has an inexpressibly big role to play [completely different from that of a Europeanwoman], that if she abandons it just because she wants to be the head as we are observingtoday, society is at stake. And this partially explains today’s increasing cases of Child Gender Equality A Misconceived Reality Page 3 Article By Mutokya Joseph Saturday, 19 February 2011
  4. 4. neglect, which has exposed them to a hotter world before they are ready for it. Mothers haveforgotten the much mentally developmental words of care which our ancestors used to offer,for they spend much time thinking on how they can overpower the men in society.Unfortunately, all this power is being thought of in terms of money, other than fosteringcultural values. But surely even then, no woman here in Africa would completely find itethical for her to pay ‘Groom-price’ as opposed to Bride price by men, neither do we havemany men ready to enjoy such a situation, in case it arises; yet on the contrary, many WesternCommunities [especially in Europe] are very comfortable when it is the woman to plan forsuch and other related things, including the family settlement. It is their culture, and they donot intend to change it either; that is why they find it necessary to trade it beyond theirboundaries—they treasure it. Why then should we change ours seeking to adopt theirs? Whydon’t we also treasure ours and prepare to trade it to them in future, as we get stronger andstronger? Why should we surrender to the Western force, at this time when we are planningto ensure that one time we should have enough also for them to ask from us? Will this dreamreally be realistic then? CERTAINLY NO! These are some of the fundamental basics that weneed to start with, and ensure that we are unique from the rest of the world, and thereforehave something to offer.We should take it upon ourselves to accept that it is most certainly impossible for a woman tobe a man, neither is it necessary at all; and every time it seems like so, many problems followthan it would have been in normal circumstances. The author of this article is currently A Student of Theology, at Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School, With Bachelors of Science Degree with Education Contact:, Tel: +256773166214, +254714850898 Gender Equality A Misconceived Reality Page 4 Article By Mutokya Joseph Saturday, 19 February 2011