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The ethics of human development as transformation IIDE conference: “Emerging perspectives on the ethics of development and transformation”. Bloemfontein.

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Presentation on theme: "The ethics of human development as transformation IIDE conference: “Emerging perspectives on the ethics of development and transformation”. Bloemfontein."— Presentation transcript:

1 The ethics of human development as transformation IIDE conference: “Emerging perspectives on the ethics of development and transformation”. Bloemfontein. 17 September 2008. Prof. Christina Landman

2 Ethical practices in deconstructing religious and cultural discourses Research – development - transformation

3 Development is 1 Securing health systems 2 Securing social systems 3 Establishing recreation facilities 4 Enhancing moral fabric 5 Stimulating enterpreneurship 6 Protecting the environment To add 7Shifting mind sets

4 David before exhibition

5 Michelangelo’s David after two years on exhibition in New York... The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City were delighted to welcome Michelangelo's sculpture of David for a two year "all American" exhibition After a two year visit to the United States, Michelangelo's David is returning to Italy.. His Proud Sponsors were: From:Olivier, David Sent:10 September 2008 11:24 AM To:"".mime.Mime; E Nell; Annamarie;; Buys, Bets; N J Coetzee; ''; Diepraam, Friena (GPSAC); Dolamo, Ramathate; Ebeling, Rainer; Elbie, Maria Van den Berg; Nell, Elsabe; Fouche, Nonnie; Badenhorst, François; Groenewald, Marcelle; Gundani, Paul;; Wood, Hannelie; Vorster, Johannes; Kritzinger, Johannes; Landman, Christina;;; Cloete, Michael; Millie Viljoen; Muir, Nan;;; Patricia Smit; Botha, Pieter; Craffert, Pieter; I J J Spangenberg; stols, anita; Van Niekerk, Erasmus; van Winsen, Henrietta; Verbeek, Rudi; Boshoff, Willem; Willemse, MJ Subject:FW: The return of DAVID...

6 Ethical practices in shifting people’s minds... A discourse is a grand narrative that is believed by a majority of a society and has consequences for the development of people whether it is “true” or not. Religious discourse: God has made man to rule over woman Cultural discourse: Aids is caused by having sex within 6 months after your parents died

7 Deconstructing discourses Deconstruction means Shifting the discourse from harmful to healthy (in the language of counselling) Shifting the discourse from trapping people in underdevelopment to transforming them towards development

8 Discourses trapping human development The faces of the problem: Three research populations: 1 Patients at Kalafong (“township”) 2 Farm labourers in Hoedspruit (“rural”) 3 University students (“urbanised”)

9 Research populations Research populations 1 Patients at Kalafong Hospital 75% black (variety of cultures) 74% women 97% Christian – more than half belong to born-again churches 52% unemployed (others minimum inc)

10 “Township” problems Problems that keep patients from developing their potential 1 Losses 2 Loneliness 3 Lack of money Discourses strengthening these problems: 1 Power discourses 2 Body discourses 3 Identity discourses 4 Otherness discourses

11 Religio-cultural discourses identified by patients as harmful Illness/misfortune is caused by bewitchment Illness is caused by God Illness is caused by Satan Aids is caused by a virus Medicine alone can make you healthy Only prayer can make you healthy

12 Power discourses The church says divorce is sin God purifies me through punishment Dreams are divine visitations/warnings The pastor said my child died because we do not give enough money to the church. My pastor said my depression was a bad spirit. I am a man and God has made me so (to beat my wife) My mother must listen to me. I am the man in the house

13 More power discourses No marriage without lobola Being gay is sinful The belongings of a deceased man belong to his family and not to his widow A woman who does not want sex, is a witch Tradition forbids that a man cries for his still-born baby The sangoma has placed a spell on me to make my husband think I am useless

14 Body discourses More than half of the women who came for counselling were severely beaten by their partners I was not raised to say no Adoption is a sin against the forefathers Abortion is a sin (more than half of the women reporting for abortion were 35+) Masturbation is not for a real man (Don’t you think I can get a partner?!)

15 Identity discourses My church does not allow me to use medicine My church only provides for families, and I am single. My church says I am evil because I am gay. My church says I must accept God has made me a woman/poor Because I was raped, I am a bad woman

16 Gender identity, moral identity A good Christian woman does not work or speak to the neighbour A good Christian man must have a house and be the breadwinner My mother told me to pretend to be stupid in order to get a good husband I must have a child before twenty: If I die without children, I shall not be buried

17 Otherness discourses My church claims that it is HIV free If you wear traditional clothes, you will be cured from AIDS I think my husband is HIV positive, but God does not want me to deny him My son was killed with a cork opener because of the jealousy of the ancestors The pastor has prophesied that my child, who committed suicide, is not in heaven

18 2 Farm labourers, Hoedspruit 180 interviews 40% male, 60% female Extremely poor (R500 per month) First 40 interviewed belonged to 23 churches) 20% illiterate, 40% can write their names Shangaan and Pedi (all migrants)

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20 Blyde River, Hoedspruit

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25 Connie Abused woman Desperately poor Migrant No transport No access to state protection Rendered powerless by the gender constructs of her faith/culture

26 Johnnie

27 Johnnie Poor Migrant Illiterate HIV status unclear Exposed to the cultural discourse that Aids is caused by bewitchment and/or God’s punishment Exposed to religious discourses that render him powerless/voiceless

28 How do the churches deal with beatings? All farm workers interviewed are in an intimate relationship except 5men/5women (widows, baruthi, one man who said he was a virgin). Shame to be without a relationship. 100% of interviewees reacted against masturbation – “Do you think I cannot find a partner?” Beatings: 53 women reported physical abuse 12 men confessed to beating their partners

29 Beatings Third of relationships are physically abusive (women beaten) One man said: “I beat my girl friend. That is normal. She beats me back. That is normal.” “He slaps me that I can wake up. He does not beat me till there is blood.” “I beat her because she did not respect me. She confessed she made a mistake”.

30 Reactions to beatings Only 2 of the women who were beated ran away from their partners: “My boyfriend beats me. I have been with him for 19 years. I love him. He is married. I shall not leave him. It is not a sin to have a married boyfriend, because I am not married.”

31 Indigenous handling of beatings Induna Family No police 90% of women indicated that they go to the church for healing, but not for intimate violence

32 Teachings on gender relations “When there is conflict in your relationship, do not beat your wife. Teach her what the Bible says about an obedient wife”. “Correct her according to the Bible”. “You may not divorce your husband even when he beats you”. The government has given too many rights to women

33 Conflicting discourses A prevalence study indicated that 28,8% of the farm workers in the Hoedspruit area are HIV positive

34 Teachings on condoms etc Baruthi teach that condoms are sin and against God’s will, while more than 80% of the farm workers indicate that they think condoms are good. (“The Lord will condomise you”) Baruthi teach that circumcision is bad, while more than 70% of the farm workers indicate that they think it is good. (“Circumcision is bad. You suffer a lot, and you don’t even get a certificate for it”.)

35 Church and HIV/Aids The baruthi interviewed all indicated that they are able to heal HIV/Aids 85% of the interviewees indicated that they believe that the church can heal HIV/Aids The baruthi felt that the government should compensate them for healing HIV/Aids


37 Further indigenous reactions Call in community to help solve problem Call induna Call family (But don’t call police) Two of the younger women (teenagers, new generation) said that if their partners would beat them, they would call the police Do not go to baruthi for healing of intimate relationships

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44 3 rd Research Population Students held captive by unhealthy discourses keeping them from transformation: 1 Discourses on gender, race and sexual identities 2 Discourses on how to deal with their present suffering 3 They are part of a society “who is not free to be moral” in terms of the discourses of church and politics

45 MEET process Ethical practices in deconstructing discourses: Mapping the past: from problem- saturated to indigenous healing Externalising the problem Empowerment against the problem from indigenous knowledge Thickening the alternative story

46 Ethics: The indigenous way Ethical transformation as the deconstruction of discourses towards indigenous insights and skills The example of the man who was not allowed to mourn his still-born child...

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