Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499
CHISALE, Sinenhlanhla S and BUFFEL, Olehile. The culturally gendered pastoral care model of women caring for refugee girls in a context of HIV/AIDS. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2014, vol.40, suppl.1, pp.285-303. ISSN 2412-4265.
The objective of this article is to investigate how women caregivers who look after Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) girls in a context of HIV/AIDS, understand their pastoral care practice. Though women are traditionally understood as the caregivers in society, their views with regard to how they understand and give meaning to care-giving are not heard. When their views are sought, their views can oppose generally accepted ideas of what counts as "oppressive". For the purposes of this article, empirical research was undertaken at the Methodist Community Centre in Soweto with caregivers there who provide care for URM girls from Zimbabwe. This is a qualitative study, with a grounded theory approach. The purpose is to investigate the understanding members of these women caregivers have of the pastoral care they provide to the URM girls. The results of the empirical study are evaluated through the lenses of African women's theology and Margret Mead's Cultural Adolescent Development Theory. The study finds that the members of this group of women assume that the proper implementation of cultural-gendered practices can be effective in guiding and conducive to the well-being of the girls in their care. For these women, the extension of care is culturally gendered and feminised. Their notions of effective pastoral care can seem to perpetuate attitudes that feminist thought generally regards as oppressive to women.