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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Crossing Boundaries and Building Bridges: The Anglican Women's Fellowship in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Author:Gaitskell, DeborahISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Anglican Church
women's organizations
Women's Issues
Religion and Witchcraft
Development and Technology
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1581547.pdf
Abstract:In the late 1960s, the South African Anglican Church set up a new women's organization, the Anglican Women's Fellowship (AWF). With strong roots in the Cape and Natal, the AWF aimed to be more inclusive of all churchwomen than the international Mothers' Union (MU) where, at that time, membership was still closed to divorcees and unmarried mothers. MU locally had also become an African stronghold, which may have reinforced the qualms of white and Coloured women about joining. Based on documentary sources and participation in the four-day AWF Provincial Council of October 2002, the present author explores the changing composition, goals and ethos of AWF over its 35-year history. Comparisons with other churchwomen's organizations, the (black) Methodist Manyano and (white) Women's Auxiliary, as well as the MU, are drawn to highlight what is distinctive about AWF and its response to social change in contemporary South Africa. While the author concludes by providing a brief snapshot of theology and practice within the movement, the striking current role of Coloured women leaders as bridge-builders is particularly emphasized and the effective crossing of racial, social, language and age boundaries evaluated. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]