Empowered Without Power
246 Pages
English
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Empowered Without Power

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Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
246 Pages
English

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This book examines women's participation in the executive structures of the Basel Mission and Presbyterian Church in Cameroon in order to tell a new story of women and church leadership. In 1886, the Basel Mission commenced mission work in Cameroon and successfully established an indigenous church which gained independence in 1957 as Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC). In both churches, women were underrepresented in the echelons of power owing to entrenched patriarchy and recourse to controversial empowerment. Female missionaries to Cameroon trained women in fields like motherhood, domestic science and marriage, which yielded little or no opportunities for local women to participate in the power structures of the Basel Mission. This patriarchal culture was handed down to the PCC, whose initial all-male authority ensured that the power structure was all-male. But growing feminism within the church and pressure from international ecumenical partners led to timid gender reforms which ended women's exclusion from the ordained ministry, promoted female eldership, led to the establishment of a convent, and the adoption of a gender inclusive policy. But women's dearth in positions of leadership persisted, with most executive structures filled by men. So, this book tells the story of women's involvement in the executive structures of the Basel Mission and Presbyterian Church in Cameroon. It is the first effort at a holistic approach to interpreting women's lack of power in these two churches. Based upon archival research and oral sources, the book tells the story of the people, forces and events that led to the consistent underrepresentation of women in the churches' echelons of power. The lived realities of women who challenged patriarchy and held leadership positions in the church are illuminated. It documents the reality of women's lack of power, with particular focus on the dilemmas of female pastors, elders, nuns, and female Christian groups.

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Published 09 November 2020
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EAN13 9789956551071
Language English
Document size 5 MB

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missionaries to Cameroon trained women in fields like motherhood, domestic
most executive structures filled by men. So, this book tell
s the story of women’s
Church in Cameroon. It is the first effort at a holistic approach to interpreting
College of the University of Bamenda. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2013 and has published extensively on religious history.
Empowered Without Power
Empowered Without Power Women and Leadership in the Basel Mission and Presbyterian Church in Cameroon
- Michael Kpughe Lang -
Empowered Without Power Women and Leadership in the Basel Mission and Presbyterian Church in Cameroon Michael Kpughe LangL a n g a a R e s e a r c h & P u b l i s h i n g C I G Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.comwww.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookscollective.com ISBN-10: 9956-551-42-2 ISBN-13: 978-9956-551-42-2 ©Michael Kpughe Lang 2020 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or be stored in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher
Table of Contents Acknowledgements .............................................................. v List of Photographs, Maps and Tables................................ vii Abbreviations ....................................................................... ix Introduction ......................................................................... xi Part I: Women in Traditional Religion and Basel Mission Church in Cameroon 1. Goddesses and High Priestesses: Women’s Status in Cameroonian Traditional Religions ..... 3 2. Basel Mission, Patriarchy and Missionary Deployment to Cameroon................................. 23 3. Controversial Emancipation: Christian Housewifisation of Local Women ....................................... 45 4. Discrimination Against Women in Leadership Structures of the Basel Mission Church .............................. 69 Part II: Women in Presbyterian Church in Cameroon Power Structure 5. Women’s Work in the PCC: Empowerment for Leadership?..................................................................... 97 6. Women in PCC’s Ordained Ministry Leadership ............................................................. 121 7. Female Eldership in the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon............................................................ 151

8. Called to Serve: Nuns in the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon............................................................ 175 9. Conclusion: Women’s Role Reconsidered ....................... 193 Bibliography......................................................................... 203

Acknowledgements I wish to thank the many people who were involved in the preparation of this book. I am immensely indebted to Verkijika G. Fanso, Simon Ngenge Tata, Canute A. Ngwa, Nixon Kahjum Takor, Henry Kam Kah, Confidence Ngam Chia, Mark Bolak Funteh, Wilibroad Dze Ngwa, Edouard Bokagne Betobo, and Kingsly Awang Ollong for sharpening and challenging my thinking. Several people have offered valuable suggestions and correctives in the process of revising sections of several chapters. I am grateful to Noah Tabi Ameli, Protus Mbeum Tem, and Paul Animbom for reading portions of early drafts and for their criticisms and suggestions. Jacob Fongang proofread the entire manuscript and made numerous very useful suggestions. I am glad to extend my thanks to workers of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon Central Archive and Library for facilitating the exploitation of archival materials. Ignatius Tabi was usually quick in satisfying my requests for relevant documents and read portions of the manuscript. I offer my gratitude to those pastors, elders, sisters, and CWF members I interviewed and who are named in the list of informants at the end of this book. Elders Gladys Shang Viban, Lilian Njalla Quan, Catherine Tamanji, Gladys Diale Ngoe, and Reverends Agnes Ngwa, Cynthia Asenek, Margaret Nchoupouh Azange, Immaculate Neba, and Theresia Uso deserve special thanks for replying to the questionnaire. I am grateful to my students, who have challenged me to present these ideas in a clear manner. I thank especially those in my graduate course on women in African history and development at The University of Bamenda, Cameroon. Considering that writing a book is a family project, I am especially grateful to my wife, Bisherine, for adjusting to my demands. Finally, the highest praise remains for Anthony Ndi for taking me under his wings during my doctoral program. With consistency, he has affirmed my scholarly inquiry since 2010 when we met. I dedicate this book to this mentor, father and friend. In spite all this assistance, I take responsibility for any mistakes of fact or judgment in this book.


List of Photographs, Maps and Tables Photographs 1. Anna Wuhrmann with female pupils in Foumban, 1911 ................................................................................60 2. Gohring-Kalmbach Margarethe with female pupils in Douala, 1906............................................................61 3. Wildi-Suter Rosli delivering a sewing lesson to females in Buea, 1928 .........................................................624. Students at Basel Mission Girls’ School Victoria in 1938.......................................................................63 5. Zurcher-Roggli Emmy in a practical knitting lesson, 1939 ............................................................................64 6. All-male General Synod Meeting of the Basel Mission Church in Cameroon...........................................79 7. Rev. Grace Dashako and Church Elders at her Induction as Presbytery Treasurer, 2018...............................143 8. Rev. Agnes Ngwa, Pioneer President of PCC Female Pastors’ Conference ................................................147 9. Female Pastors pose with Moderator, Synod Clerk and Secretary of PCC, 2016.........................................149 10. Elder Gladys Shang Viban, Chairperson, East Mungo North Presbytery...........................................................162 11. Elder Elizabeth Mbiwan, Teacher at Basel Mission Girls’ School, Victoria................................................170 12. Sisters at Emmanuel Sisterhood in Bafut ..................................189 Map(s) 1. Basel Mission Stations in Southern Cameroons .........................40 Table(s) 1. Male and Female Enrolment in the PCC Seminary, 1987-2014 ..................................................................131


Abbreviations AACCAll African Conference of Churches AICs African Independent Churches AMFCO Association of Meme Female Counsellors ATR African Traditional Religion BODA Bali Old Boys Association CBS Christian Broadcasting Service CDC Cameroon Development Corporation CMF Christian Men Fellowship CPC Cameroon Protestant College CRTV Cameroon Radio and Television CWF Christian Women Fellowship EEC Eglise Evangélique du Cameroun ETTC Elementary Teacher Training College LBMS London Baptist Missionary Society NAB National Archive Buea NAVDEV Nkong Hill Top Association for Development PCC Presbyterian Church in Cameroon PCCCALB Presbyterian Church in Cameroon Central Archive and Library, Buea PCSA Presbyterian Church in South Africa PEM Paris Evangelical Mission PTS Presbyterian Theological Seminary WCC World Council of Churches WEEP Women’s Education and Empowerment Programme WTTC Women’s Teacher Training College WWD Women’s Work Department WWH Women’s Work Helper YWCA Young Women Christian Association