The Road from Teacher to Principal isn’t an Easy One for South African Women

Of Africa’s 54 nations, South Africa ranks fourth on the United Nations’ gender equality index. As in most countries, South African women face barriers of patriarchy. What’s contributed to making the country’s education leadership gender gap worse than others is the legacy of decades of apartheid-era laws that mandated women be paid less than men. In 2013, in an effort to redress the balance, the DBE introduced a program called Support Networks for Female Principals. Thus far, says the DBE’s chief education specialist, Selaelo Makatu, six of South Africa’s nine provinces have launched their own support networks for female principals, and discussions have reached 3,283 female leaders.


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