Women's education and sexual reproductive health rights: a case of African apostolic indigineous churches of Tanwena area Nyanga, Zimbabwe.
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This study uses a post-colonial feminist theory and African cultural feminist hermeneutics to investigate whether the teachings of the African Apostolic Indigenous Churches of Tangwena area have any influence on the girl child’s limited education and her sexual and reproductive health rights. This study was a qualitative empirical research where data was generated from both fieldwork and secondary sources. The study found out that the teachings of AAICs covered in this study though not stated precisely on the ground, have a role to play in the limited education and poor sexual and reproductive health rights of most of the girls who drop out from school and get married young in Tangwena area. Tendencies such as the teaching of a girl child to preserve her virginity before she gets married and how to be a good mother as taught in these churches prepared the girl child only to be destined for marriage. This made some of the girls powerless and end up lacking power over their sexual and reproductive rights. This study also found out that although AAICs teachings have a role to play in most of the girls’ limited education; there were other factors that have nothing to do with the church teachings that were also responsible for the girl child’s limited education in Tangwena area. These factors include lack of exposure to social and economic activities, failing of the major grade Seven and form Four National Examination which screens who is proceeding with education and who is left behind, and parental influence. This study concludes that it only requires social commitment of all the stakeholders of AAICs indicated in the study to uplift the girl child’s education in their teachings as a form of empowerment, and the only way that will delay girls from getting married so young and desist from getting married to people who are older to them, who will force them to be voiceless in the marriage as far as far as reproductive health rights are concerned.