The 1996 constitution of the Republic of South Africa establishes a range of rights, including the right to gender equity. Careful observation shows that gender equity in South African education is far from being achieved. There is no education policy directed at ending gender inequity, and there seems to be little focus on implementing the recommendations of the country's Gender Equity Task Team Report for eliminating sexism and the sexual harassment of female students and teachers.
This research note contends that gender equity in South African education remains elusive. Fewer women than men hold top administrative positions in education, many female administrators fill positions still considered feminine, and women in positions still considered masculine are being pushed out. Patriarchal attitudes in education thrive. Therefore, this paper records and analyzes the experiences of women in educational leadership and the messages sent to students. To expose the conflict between the policy intent and reality, it reanalyzes data collected on school-governing bodies to determine whether education offers women an opportunity to experience lives unrestricted by gender oppression.