Women’s Participation In Community-Based Organizations’ Development As A Strategy For Poverty Reduction In Kenya -- By: Zablon Bundi Mutongu

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 26:1 (Winter 2012)
Article: Women’s Participation In Community-Based Organizations’ Development As A Strategy For Poverty Reduction In Kenya
Author: Zablon Bundi Mutongu


Women’s Participation In Community-Based Organizations’ Development As A Strategy For Poverty Reduction In Kenya

Zablon Bundi Mutongu

Zablon Bundi Mutongu is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Institute of Lifelong Learning and Leadership Development Centre at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya. An Anglican priest, he served as parish minister for more than ten years. He has served as Academic Dean and Deputy Principal at St. Andrews’ College of Theology and Development in Kabare, as Director of Bishop Kariuki Integrated Community Training Centre, and as Director of Training of the Diocese of Mt. Kenya South.

Introduction

Women’s participation in development and leadership is not an imposition of our times. It is as old as creation itself. In the biblical accounts of creation (Gen 1:26), the command of God to steward the earth is given to both women and men, meaning that they are both to take leadership in overseeing the wellbeing of the population in their care. Throughout the Bible, God gives gifts so that both women and men may lead; therefore, we should recognize those gifts as our “sons and daughters prophesy” to lead us. This is clearly seen in the book of Acts, where both women and men answer the call to ministry as community workers (9:36, 39), as teachers of the word (18:26), and as prophets (21:9). Both women and men were exhorted to use their spiritual gifts fully without restrictions on the basis of gender (Rom 12:14-20; 1 Cor 12:7, 11; Eph 4:6-8; 1 Pet 4:10-11). This shows that men and women participated equally in the service (1 Cor 11:5) as confirmed by the presence of active women such as Lydia (who appears to have bankrolled a church as well as Paul’s ministry). The Proverbs 31 woman is commended for all her businesses (real estate, textiles, etc.). By the same token today, women’s gifts should be utilized in the marketplace as well as men’s, and equal participation in the development process should be encouraged as a biblical ideal.

Development begins with the release of people’s God-given potential, which is only possible when they are free to use the gifts God has given them. Christians have a mandate for the release of human potential, as affirmed in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. As we increase in biblical attitudes about our potential to grow in ability, knowing the value...

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