“The older women are men:” navigating the academic terrain, perspectives from Ghana

Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Yeukai Angela Mlambo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This qualitative study investigates how the intersection of gender, socio-cultural factors, and organizational culture impact professional experiences of women academics at a selected public university in Ghana. Given the glaring absence of women in academic positions across many African universities, particularly at academic ranks beyond the entry-level, junior-lecturer or lecturer positions, this study provides an understanding of socio-cultural and institutional factors that have impacted the upward mobility of women academics and the strategies these women have employed to navigate professional contexts that are not always supportive. This study is theoretically informed Barriteau’s (Fem Afr 7:9–31, 2006) scholarship on Caribbean feminism, to examine the intersections of culture, gender, and post-colonial legacy on the professional lives of academic women. The key findings are centered around three themes that emerged from this study; the first highlights socio-cultural and family factors that impact the professional trajectory of Ghanaian women academics; the second, explores the manifestation of socio-cultural factors within the university; and the third focuses on organizational or institutional factors that affect their professional experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-778
Number of pages20
JournalHigher Education
Volume69
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gender equity
  • Higher education
  • Organizational culture
  • Women academics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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