Exploring the experiences of female chairpersons of the school governing bodies in three rural schools: a leadership perspective.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of female chairpersons of school governing bodies in rural areas when executing their leadership roles. It is hoped that the study contributes to the understanding of their experiences, the challenges that female chairpersons in rural areas encounter in their work and how they overcome them. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants of the study and it consisted of three female chairpersons of School Governing Bodies. It made use of qualitative approach, using case study methodology to generate data using semi-structured interviews with three female chairpersons of SGBs in three selected rural schools. Documents reviews was also used to triangulate data obtained through the semi-structured interviews. The study was located in the feminist theory. This theory provides an explanation about women under-representation in leadership positions. The main findings indicate that female chairpersons of the SGBs in these three rural schools experienced and internalised negative gender stereotypes as a strategy for survival. The participants expressed that men did not trust that women can hold positions similar to those of men and perform the activities that men do. The findings also revealed that gender inequality and discrimination between men and women still prevail.