Christian Education Strategies For Addressing Gender-Based Violence And HIV/AIDS In African Communities

ABSTRACT

Gender-based Violence (GBV) is violence involving men and women, in which the female is usually the victim; and which results from unsatisfactory power relationships between men and women. In the African communities, violence is directed specifically against a woman because she is a woman, or affects women unduly. Examples of GBV include physical, sexual, and psychological harm. Gender-based violence (GBV) climaxes the relationship between women's secondary status in society and their increased vulnerability to violence. Studies have revealed that high levels of violence perpetuated against women can directly and indirectly expose them to HIV. This is a concern which needs to be addressed. And this paper enunciates that Christian leaders have designated role of leadership in their organisations and communities. They serve as replicas of care and compassion as well as have the ethical power to raise awareness about GBV and an ethical obligation to thwart violence, offer support and care, and attempt to transform societal or religious norms or practices that perpetuate such violence and vulnerability to HIV. The paper elucidates Christian education as that which applies biblical principles to Christians' social relationships. The dimension of being socially applied is vital in the emphasis of Christian education strategies and actions in this paper. Thus, the paper clinches with ten Christian education and action plans for raising awareness, campaigning against and providing support and care to victims of GBV and HIV/AIDS.

AUTHOR
HELEN ISHOLA-ESAN is an ordained Baptist Minister. She holds a B. Sc. in Microbiology and M. Sc. in Industrial and Environmental Microbiology from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She also obtained M. Div., M. Th. and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Religious Education from the prestigious Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary Ogbomoso where she currently serves as lecturer; Acting Manager, Ancillary Education Department; Head, Religious Education Department and the Dean of the Faculty of Education.