RE: “Stop the religious patriarch” (The New Times, January 8). The author wrote: “The biggest lie is that God is male.” How do we know it is or isn’t a lie? A more practical approach to overcoming patriarchy is to undo gendered thinking, roles and teaching in the home, that puts sons in positions of preference relative to their sisters. Treat all children equally, and assign to them tasks and responsibilities indifferently, not as men or women in training – but all as children.
Yes, all religious teaching needs to be modernized to reflect contemporary thinking (after all, we no longer own slaves on whose treatment the Bible’s Old Testament or the Qur’an says so much; most of us no longer engage in kubandwa, kwera or kwirabura, as our ancestors did).
If we no longer believe in such practices from bygone days, why do we still retain patriarchal religious beliefs, mindsets, behaviors, and practices that are clearly out of tune with contemporary ethos?
It is clear public policy-makers need to work with those who impart religious instruction to ensure their teachings are not incompatible with contemporary public policy, which in Rwanda aims at promoting effective gender equality.