The experience of black female lectures in the Faculty of humanities at the university of the Witwatersrand

Maseko, Mbali
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With the call for transformation post 1994, major changes with regards to policies, leadership, diversity of staff and an increase in the number of Black students, have occurred in the South African institutions of higher learning to redress the inequalities of the apartheid era. Included in these changes is the call for an increase in the number of Black female lectures. This research project explored the experiences of black female lecturers in the Humanities Faculty at the University of the Witwatersrand. A qualitative research approach was used. The research project was explorative in nature. The participants were 9 Black female South African lecturers. Purposive sampling was employed. Data was gathered using face to face conversational interviews and a semi-structured interview schedule as a tool for data gathering and. The data was analysed using thematic analysis From the information which I obtained from the Faculty of Humanities the percentage of Black female lecturers, of the permanent staff, in the Faculty of Humanities is 33 % currently. This is similar to the social work department where 6 out of the 9 female lecturers are black. The findings in the study were that the academic environment was not accommodating for Black female academics. The small amount of Black female lectures at the higher levels had very big representational roles to play and Black female lecturers in general were involved in a lot of service work. Black female lectures experienced racial attacks in the classroom where their qualifications were questioned. Lastly because of a perceived lack of support systems within the institution Black female lecturers reverted to external informal forms of support. This research will help with recommendations on how the work environment of the lecturers can be improved and how the lecturers can be empowered and perform at their optimum best. Furthermore most of the lecturers in the courses that Social Work students do are based in the Faculty of Humanities. Key words: black women, lecturers, South Africa Higher Education, University of the Witwatersrand.
A report on a study project presented to The Department of Social Work School of Human and Community Development Faculty of Humanities University of the Witwatersrand In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Social Work