Feminism has become a term that generates a lot of debate anytime it is mentioned. For some, it is simply believing in women’s rights to be equal to men on social, economic, political and educational fronts. For others like the Pepper Dems, it is a bitter fight to the death against all man-made norms and “redefining gender roles”, as they like to put it.
Some religious pundits have argued that staunch Christian women are unlikely to embrace feminism because it goes against the Bible’s teaching of women being submissive to their husbands and men being the “head”. Also, according to the Bible, women were only created as an afterthought to be helpers to men, the original creation. To most Christians, a virtuous woman is one who purposely suffers emotional and physical abuse but still sticks with the abuser because it is better to be in an abusive marriage than succumb to the indignity of divorce. Most pastors will advise a woman to stay with a cheating and lying husband and pray for him to turn a new leaf, just because perhaps they have children together, or it is felt that women have a high tolerance for bullcrap.
There are several instances in the Bible where women are forbidden from performing certain roles because of their gender. As a result of all these, one would conclude that Christianity doesn’t actively support modern day feminism, but Dr. Mrs. Angela Dwamena, Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, begs to differ. In her opinion, Christian women can be feminists as long as they understand the concept and don’t take it out of context. She says both men and women were created in the image of God and as such both have equal rights to take full advantages of their oppurtunities and excel in their various endeavours.
“I don’t see why a Christian can’t be a feminist if they only understand what it means and how they come into it. In the bible I learn that men and women are created equally in the image of God, and God blessed us both as men and women to have dominion, if I understand that that comes into all my relationships and all that I do… There are feminists of different kinds there are cultural feminists, liberal feminists, radical feminists, there are eco feminists, gender feminists, Christian feminists, biblical feminists there are many kinds of feminists.’’
She however condemned “extreme feminism” where women are so set in their beliefs that they begin to feel like they do not need men in order to function in society. “There are some people who decide that they don’t even want to have anything to do with men, they have their own brand of feminism”, she said. She is of the belief that women and men deserve equal opportunities to prove themselves in society, but women should take extra care too carry themselves with dignity so as not to give men any reason to be abusive towards them.