The Place of Women in Higher Education: A Philosophical-Historical Perspective

Rachel Ndinelao Shanyanana, Amasa Philip Ndofirepi

Abstract


The assumption that higher education institutions on the African continent, after gaining political independence from the erstwhile colonisers, would be accessible to all people, irrespective of gender, race, status, ethnicity or religion has not had meaningful practical consequences. In higher education, especially universities, there has not been convincingly adequate space created for women and hence their involvement remains at the periphery of its practices. In this theoretical paper, we argue that although women are involved in the current higher education, their participation is still placed at the margin of the educational practices just like in the pre-colonial and colonial periods. We posit that while the time and space have changed, the nature of involvement throughout the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial epochs, women have been and are still left at the periphery of higher education on the African continent. It is our case that if authentic liberation for all is to be realised, the involvement of all people, including women as equal agents in higher education, ought to be the epicentre of all higher education goals and practices. This philosophical paper therefore interrogates and presents a historical exposé of Higher Education (HE) in Africa, from pre-colonial, colonial through to the post-colonial epochs, in relation to how they place women within university institutional and educational practices.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n23p2168


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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

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