An investigation of gender discrimination against South African women educators of Indian descent.
Claims of gender discrimination by women educators in South Africa were investigated through an examination of specific issues surrounding the employment of women educators of Indian descent. These include maternity leave, housing subsidy, pension scheme, medical aid, salaries, merit awards and promotions. The study is located within the context of the general oppression of all women in society. The analysis used the sexual division of labour as its central focus. Since the subjects under investigation were members of a minority ethnic group, factors such as their cultural heritage, race, and class difference were considered an integral part of the analysis. The study assessed the validity of each of the claims of discrimination through an examination of official documentation such as the Principal's Handbook and staff circulars relating to teachers' conditions of service, regulations and occupational incentives. Wherever possible, the claims were empirically examined through an analysis of the responses obtained from a sample of educators. Cross-tabulations and Chi-square analyses were used to test the claims statistically. Participation in a union as a possible organising strategy for women educators in their challenge of gender discrimination is suggested. A list of recommendations for the amelioration of gender discrimination against women educators is presented at the end of the study.
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