Akosua Adomako Ampofo

Professor, Institute of African Studies
University of Ghana, Ghana

"Christian Feminists and Anti-Hegemony Work: Unpacking Discourses" 
African peoples are deeply spiritual and religious, and for African feminists the line separating the secular and the religious remains blurred. And although the relations between women and the church, is complex—as a result of colonial legacies—Christian feminists have engaged fiercely with processes of state, social and religious trends and itineraries of development and transformation from a place of faith, often leading these processes. Women’s experiences also form a context from which to perform, and not infrequently, transform religion. For example, in Ghana, The Ark Foundation, built on the principle of the Ark of the Covenant relationship between God and Her/His people, has been at the forefront of anti-gender-based violence work, and was a focal partner in the push for domestic violence legislation in Ghana. In this paper, I refer to work by Michael Okyerefo and myself in which we examine the discourse of four prominent contemporary Ghanaian Christian leaders from the Charismatic-Pentecostal/Evangelical movement on gender, marriage and women to suggest what the perspectives of the church leaders portend in our social context. The narrative will be also partly biographical, based on my own experiences as a Christian feminist.

Akosua Adomako Ampofo is a Professor of African and Gender Studies at the University of Ghana (UG), and was until 2015 its Director.  She was also the founding Director of the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, CEGENSA, at UG and is currently a Visiting Senior Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Concordia University, Irvine.  Adomako Ampofo’s teaching, research and advocacy address issues of African Knowledge systems; Higher education; Identity Politics; Gender-based Violence; Women's work; Masculinities; and Gender Representations in Popular Culture (music and religion).