Gladys Ekone Wang

A contextual contribution to the enrichment, growth and healing involved in marriage, childlessness and stigmatization: A paradigm for pastoral care and counselling in the Cameroonian context: The Bakossi tribe in Cameroon.

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Gladys Ekone Wang


Like in many other tribes in Cameroon and elsewhere in Africa, traditionally marriage among the Bakossi tribe is regarded as the center of human existence, and an institution that brings together not just individuals, but two families, clan and kindred. Having one’s own child is still cherished as an indispensable prerequisite for status among the Bakossi people.  Childlessness in a marriage seems even more complex as it defines ones identity, status, inheritance, funeral and burial.

This study will seek to examine the cultural dehumanization practices and stigmatization towards childless couples among the Bakossi tribe of Cameroon, and to explore new ways that pastoral care and counselling can  lead to the enrichment, growth and healing. The study intends to investigate how the issue of childlessness in marriage serves to derogate, stigmatize and demean couples. Drawing from empirical data, the overall goal is to discuss alternative pedagogical and liberating attitudes which can help pastoral caregivers and counsellors with a handy guideline to transform the mindset of both the community and childless couples when it comes to childlessness. Childless couples sharing their experiences will therefore shape the trust of this thesis.


Associate Professor Nina Hoel, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo (main supervisor).

Professor Marianne Bjelldand Kartzow, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo (co-supervisor).


Quota programme

Published Oct. 2, 2015 3:50 PM - Last modified Oct. 1, 2019 2:13 PM