Feeling ‘Pushed’ but ‘Clinging on’: Juxtaposing the Perceived Barriers and Support Strategies Used by Women in Leadership Positions in South African Universities

Anita Maürtin-Cairncross


Many of the challenges experienced by women have their origins in the patriarchal notion of the private/public divide and stereotypic notions of 'male' and 'female' work and roles. These traditional notions of ‘man’s work’ being in the public sphere (characterized by dealings with matters of the mind), and ‘woman’s work’ in the private sphere (characterized by dealings with emotional matters), continue to have salience in contemporary societies. The research is couched within the feminist standpoint theory which was used as the conceptual framework for the article. This study provides an overview of perceptions of women in leadership positions in South African Higher Education with regard to the barriers they experiences and the strategies they use to support them in these positions.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n8p558

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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