A gender perspective on democrary in school management practices of a Gauteng secondary school

Komane, Joseph Papi
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The purpose o f this single case study is to evaluate how far the government’s policy measures and legislation have gone to overcome gender inequalities in the school management practices o f a school in Soweto. The school was selected because o f the role it played in the struggle against apartheid. To accomplish this task an account o f the historical background o f school management under apartheid is given. The study also develops a conceptual framework through an examination o f the notion of democratic citizenship drawn out of Marshall’s (1950) conception o f citizenship, a conception o f citizenship as articulated by the feminist theorists such as Dietz (1992) and Walby (1990) and five faces o f oppression as conceived by Young (1990). The study deployed qualitative methodology. Data was collected through staff questionnaires and interviews, complemented by documentary analysis, informal conversation and on-site observation. TZie findings show that there is a gap between national gender equity policy and implementation at this school. There is also a gap between the explicit commitment to democracy at the school and its practices with respect to gender. Evidence from the study shows that gender inequalities and discrimination still exist in the school. These inequalities were reflected in the composition of the management staff, in the requirements of appointment and promotion of educsy'-rs into management positions. It was also evident that many educators still hold negative peroeLikif s about women.