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Gender and Behaviour

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Female principals and conflict management at female dominated primary schools in the rural areas of Gingindlovu Circuit: The perspectives of teachers

Joyce Fikile Mthethwa, Azwidohwi Philip Kutame, Allen Bhekisisa Buthelezi

Abstract


Gender inequality in leadership has been the central focus of studies in the field of educational administration for many years. When female teachers are in principalship positions, there are still some teachers who regard them as incompetent and unable to resolve conflict in schools. This study explored the experiences of teachers in relation to female principals' skills of managing conflict in rural primary schools dominated by female teachers in the Gingindlovu Circuit of KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. This study used a qualitative approach, collecting data from purposively sampled participants through face-to-face interviews. The study established that female principals have skills of managing conflict despite their gender roles that have been taken as determinants that females may not do well as managers. Some gender roles, which include nurturing and accommodating, have been identified as key to female principals in assisting them when resolving conflict at the workplace where the staff is dominated by female teachers.

Keywords: Teacher perspectives; female principals' skills; rural primary schools; managing conflict; gender stereotypes; female teachers.




AJOL African Journals Online