Re-membering the dismembered in university 'politics of process': Strategies for women's empowerment and inclusivity in academic leadership




Women, marginalisation, decoloniality, politics of process, university system


In response to the legacy of Apartheid, South Africa has implemented gender equality policies to address the marginalisation of women in higher education institutions. Despite this liberation movement, the politics of university systems have continually marginalised previously disadvantaged black people, especially women. This is evident in the statistics of black women in positions of authority and academic development in South Africa. Observations and literature confirm that social, cultural, and institutional practices, often called the "politics of process," remain significant obstacles to women's full inclusion in the university leadership system. Therefore, this study aims to deconstruct gender supremacy within university systems from the perspectives of experienced women. It adopts a decoloniality approach, viewed through a transformative lens, which seeks to transform the perceived organisationally "dismembered" women by "re-membering" them into the sphere of equal recognition in university politics. Participatory research (PR) was employed to design the study, involving five women from a public university in South Africa, selected using a convenient sampling method. Unstructured interviews were conducted to gather information from the participants. Thematic Analysis (TA) was applied to analyse the data. The study found that institutionally induced challenges, women as impediments to themselves, and patriarchy and societal issues are major barriers preventing women from attaining positions of authority. In contrast, institutional support, self-empowerment, and mentoring initiatives represent strategies to re-member the dismembered, forming the basis of the study's recommendations.


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How to Cite

Makura, A. H., & Omodan, B. I. (2024). Re-membering the dismembered in university ’politics of process’: Strategies for women’s empowerment and inclusivity in academic leadership. Interdisciplinary Journal of Sociality Studies, 4, 1-16.