Academia, Gender Equity, Feminism, Higher Education, Women Empowerment


Thus far achieving gender equity in the academic leadership of South African institutions of higher learning is a mission not clearly possible. The Commission of Gender and Equity is established in terms of the Constitution of the Republic South Africa, 1996 and is mandated to transform the South African public and private sector institutions in order to ensure a balanced representation of gender within the South African labour force. Such mandate seems to be making a little impact on promoting women to assume academic leadership of institutions of higher learning. This paper therefore would like to argue that while equity is required ideally in workplace environment, the realistic environments often dictate otherwise. The social and the political realities on the ground suggest a different scenario that resultantly keeps the status quo alive with women taking back seat in academic leadership of higher learning institutions. Since the argument in this paper is conceptual, data is conveniently obtained from literature and document analysis. Few women appointed in academic leadership in institutions of higher learning never demonstrated strong leadership endurance and are removed before their term expires. This paper therefore concludes that the achievement of women empowerment in institutions of higher learning is possible if it is strongly ability driven with a strong established support mechanism in place.

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