Gender equality in South African higher education institutions : assessing determinants of policy failure. A case study on the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College)
Gender equality barriers today are less obvious and more subtle than ever before and in some instance go undetected. Despite evidence of women‘s success and proven abilities, a high proportion of suitably qualified and experienced female academics still experience gender inequality and most remain underrepresented in institutions of higher education particularly so in senior positions. Contemporary observations proffer multiple rationales for this such as patriarchal organisational cultures, traditional devaluation of women‘s abilities, unconscious biases towards women‘s inappropriateness for certain jobs, roles or positions and the reluctance by organisations to implement gender equality policies. Through an interrogation of the existing gender equality policies and initiatives and analysis of the organisational culture inherent at UKZN (Howard College), the study sought to identify institutional dynamics that act as impediments to achieving gender equality at the institution and adversely affect the formulation, implementation and progression of gender equality policies and initiatives. A consideration of the liberal feminist prescripts, perspectives of both male and female academics and a deeper understanding of organisational culture as an influential factor provide practical and feasible solutions to the problem at hand.
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