n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Stereotypes against women principals in rural communities : an individual or cultural issue? A synthesis into indigenous knowledge systems

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



Entrenched socio-cultural stereotypes which tend to undermine women's ability to be leaders and managers cut across the social strata. The experience that informs this article is drawn from an African perspective. Discrimination and prejudice with respect to women's ability to lead and to manage is universal. Feminist discourse and the bill of human rights are however, beginning to impact positively on these stereotypes.

The research was conducted in Limpopo Province. This investigation illuminated the challenges that are faced by women leaders in their schools as well as communities, regardless of the fact that most women are already leading in their households as their partners are based far away from their homes because of work commitments.
However there is a general impression that women are not good leaders. Therefore this investigation also probes into the general impressions created about women leadership. A Northern Sotho proverb which most individuals cite in reference to women leadership is: "Tsa etwa ke ya tshadi pele di wela leopeng" which means: "if a leader is a woman, disaster is bound to happen". Thus a question which one can ask is, does this proverb encourage women discrimination in the cultural settings and work environment?

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