Back to browse results
Will God Make Me Rich? An Investigation into the Relationship between Membership in Charismatic Churches, Wealth, and Women’s Empowerment in Ghana
Authors: Sara Gundersen
Source: Religions, 9(6): 195; DOI: 10.3390/rel9060195
Topic(s): Religion
Wealth Index
Women’s empowerment
Country: Africa
Published: JUN 2018
Abstract: In recent decades, there has been an explosion in the growth of Pentecostal churches in Ghana, many of which preach that belief in God will translate into material wealth for both men and women. While some have argued that women in these churches are likely to be more empowered due to female leadership and focus on the individual, others have argued that this may not translate to the typical congregant’s experience. After all, members of the Pentecostal church subscribe to the belief that wives should “submit to their husbands” (Biblia n.d.). In this study, I used the 2014 Demographic Health Survey to directly test whether women who identify as Pentecostal/Charismatic/Evangelical have a higher level of empowerment as measured by autonomy in decision making. I found that they exhibit significantly less decision-making power than other Christian women in making big household purchases and on their own healthcare. This exists both before and after controlling for wealth. Thus, the notion that Pentecostal women are more empowered than other Christians appears to be misguided.