Anglican Priest Rev. Domnic Misolo recently spoke at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church about his efforts to change attitudes about women in Western Kenya. As a youngster he was taught that girls and women are inferior in every way to males. Girls, for example, can be forced into arranged marriages at very young ages in exchange for a dowry.
While studying at seminary, Rev. Misolo had an epiphany. He believes God called him to question and oppose his country’s deep-seated cultural traditions regarding the “place” of girls and women in their society. Upon ordination, Rev. Misolo obtained approval from the Bishop of Kenya’s Diocese to ”advocate for gender justice and biblical equality in the home, church and society”.
Rev. Misolo founded the Ekklesia Foundation for Gender Education (EFOGE) with three goals: first, to “…challenge patriarchal cultural views that result in the widespread oppression of women” and to “…teach teens about God’s desire for men and women to live and work in harmony to advance God’s kingdom…”
A second goal is to keep girls in school to protect them from an early marriage. Staying in school is one of the most effective ways to combat poverty, teen pregnancy, infant and child mortality and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Two things often cause girls to leave: lack of tuition ($450/year) and the lack of feminine hygiene articles ($6.50/year). Without feminine hygiene articles girls must leave school for a week each month, causing them to fall behind.
The third goal is to train church and education leaders to be advocates for biblical equality. This can be a dangerous job. In one instance, a husband died and his property — a small farm — was given to a male relative. His widow had no way to support her family. Rev. Misolo contacted the police and helped get the property reinstated to the widow. Following his actions Rev. Misolo’s life was threatened, and he had to move to a different village for safety.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church supports EFOGE. If readers want to help, contact St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (515-277-0875 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Support can be as simple as sending feminine hygiene articles monthly to Rev. Misolo to distribute or raising funds to provide tuition for girls to stay in school.
Please join us as we seek to help young women in East Africa where there is a true “war on women.”