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Africanwomenculture: Gender and Theology in Africa today - Mercy Amba Oduyoye

Africanwomenculture: Gender and Theology in Africa today - Mercy Amba Oduyoye
My experience of gender as it functions in theology on the African continent is located in my intentional involvement with African women in theology dating back to the mid seventies and to the first conference of African Women theologians organized in 1980 by Daisy Obi, then director of the Institute of Church and Society of the Christian Council of Nigeria, Isabel Johnson, then secretary for women's department of the All African Conference of Churches and myself then on the faculty of the Religious studies department of the University of Ibadan.

From Ibadan the circle widened and relationships of trust grew, flowering into convocation of African women theologians in 1980 held in Accra. The fruit of all this is the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians with membership from more than twenty countries including Egypt, Ethiopia and Madagascar, Angola, Mozambique and Namibia. The women of the Circle are practitioners of African Traditional Religion, Christianity, Islam and Judaism may be others too. We do not ask for religious affiliations in the Circle, only that one should consciously live by a belief in God.

This make up the Africa that I speak about until recently theology by African men was not gender sensitive. It was meant to be objective and generic and consequently subsumed women into man. This paper therefore deals mainly with the theological output of women, with the significant exceptions of a handful of men like John Pobee and Tinyiko Maluleke and Gerald West who begun to consciously examine the gender parameters in African theology, I now do hear Christian preachers saying "and women" where the Bible or a collect omits them, it will repay study to read the recent writings of the "fathers" of African Christian Theology with an eye for their sensitivity to gender. This, I have not done. But I know that in the academic world, what counts as theology has been defined by men. This definition - makers we are going to have to acknowledge that both hermeneutics and ways of accessing knowledge are constantly changing. The power of definition of what is theology has to be exercised by the community of women and men in theology.

The academic world remains uncertain as to how to assess the alternative epistemologies and methodologies that women claim mainstreaming gender in theology demands. But like it or not the concern for gender has opened up a new academic field, and this has to be acknowledged and appropriated to make the academy responsible and responsive to the world out there. The same goes for the ecclessia. The presumed right of church and bishops to determine what is to be believed, stands in the ways of mainstreaming gender in theology as long as leadership in the ecclesia remains male.

Africanwomenculture: First African Culture and Wellness Festival launched

First African Culture and Wellness Festival launched
The first annual International African Culture and Wellness Festival, to be held in Ghana this year was launched at Elmina in the Central Region on Wednesday.

The four-day festival which is scheduled to take place from August 9 to 12, 2012 at Elmina is on the theme: “Building a global community of wellness for the African family,” and targeted at the public as well as Africans in the Diaspora.

The Festival is also aimed at appreciating and preserving the culture and wellness of the global African family as well as bring diverse communities together for dialogue, learning, economic development and unity.

Dr Yazid Sharita, a ‘Holistic’ life Consultant, who is the Event Coordinator of the festival, said it seeks to provide a platform for African wellness products, services and organisations on an international scale.

She noted that globally, Africans were dying prematurely due to diseases such as diabetes, cancer and various heart-related diseases, adding that the Festival would teach people how to lead healthy lives, since one’s health was his or her number one asset and should therefore be well-taken care of.

Dr. Sharita urged the public to turn up in their numbers and experience the nation’s rich culture through dance as well as learn how to enjoy being healthy.

The festival is being sponsored by New Body Products, One Africa Health Resort, Queen Afua Wellness Institute and African Renaissance Foundation among others.

Activities lined up for the event include wellness workshops on nutrition, emotional healing, life management, beauty without chemicals; African drum and dance workshops, exhibitions, tours as well as a concert to climax the festival.**

Source: ghanaweb.com

Africanwomenculture: VSO to exhibit at Africa Day 2012- Celebrating African culture around the world

VSO to exhibit at Africa Day 2012- Celebrating African culture around the world


VSO is proud to announce that we will be attending a special event in Dublin this weekend to mark Africa Day 2012. Africa Day is celebrated around the world every year on May 25th. Its aim is to celebrate African diversity and to highlight the cultural and economic potential that exists on the African continent.

To join the celebrations, international development charity VSO will be attending the Dublin Africa Day public event which takes place in CHQ Building and Georges Dock, Custom House Quay on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May.

The event, supported by Irish Aid, is free to members of the public, and is aimed at increasing the public’s understanding of Ireland’s development programme in Africa, as well as broadening public understanding of African culture. Running from 12.00pm to 7.00pm on both days, the event will showcase live music, drumming, dancing and ethnic food, while also displaying traditional costumes, art, crafts and photography.

The theme for Africa Day 2012 is ‘trade’. Speaking about the event today, VSO Director Malcolm Quigley expressed hope that the event would highlight the potential that exists across the continent.

‘’In 2010, Africa´s average rate of growth amounted to 4.9%, up from 3.1% in 2009.  It is a continent bursting with potential.

VSO’s innovative business partnerships in countries like Ghana and Uganda help companies find value in Africa, while helping rural workers trade and support themselves.

Accenture, Cadbury’s and Ben and Jerry’s are just some of VSO’s business partners who wish to bring shared value to the communities they work in by partnering with NGOs like VSO.”

VSO recruits experienced and professional volunteers to fight poverty and places them in the following African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As a development charity that brings people together to fight poverty, the VSO stand at Africa Day 2012 is designed to educate people about our work in livelihoods.

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