Gender and Behaviour

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Leadership challenges facing female school principals in the Durban ink area

Thembekile P. Ndlovu, Cecile N. Gerwel Proches


The aim of this study was to examine the leadership challenges that female school principals face and the strategies they use to deal with these challenges in terms of leading schools in the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK) area of Durban, South Africa. The literature was consulted to provide a deeper level of understanding of leadership in relation to schools. A qualitative research approach was employed and purposive sampling was used. Data were collected through semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with 15 female school principals in the Durban INK area and these were analysed thematically. The findings indicated that female principals in the Durban INK area face challenges related to human resource management within and outside the school, financial matters, and curriculum management. The results highlighted the critical need for various stakeholders to support female principals, as well as those females who aspire to be principals.

Keywords: female principals; schools; challenges; South Africa

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