Inaugural lecture reinforces the concept of gender, equity and equality

Koos Degenaar -- Wed, 08/24/2016 - 15:52

Inaugural lecture reinforces the concept of gender, equity and equality

An inaugural lecture presented by Prof Connie Zulu from the Faculty of Education and Training on the Mafikeng Campus of the North-West University (NWU) took a thoughtful look at the concept of gender, equity and equality.

Prof Zulu who is  presented her inaugural lecture with the theme "Gender equity and equality in higher education leadership: what´s social justice and substantive equality got to do with it?" on 18 August.

Prof Zulu is a well-established NRF C-rated researcher within the field of academic writing and reading as well as in gender and leadership. Her interests in this area are reinforced by her concern for social justice, equity and equality. This is fuelled by her primary socialisation in a mainly female multicultural and religious environment as well as her later socialisation into educational leadership in a predominantly male-led work environment in secondary schools.

In her lecture she unpacked the main concepts of gender, equity and equality and the notions of social justice and substantive equality displaying how all these concepts are integrated and interwoven in a study of higher education leadership that uses gender as a lens.

Prof Zulu stated that transformation in universities cannot be complete without paying attention to gender. “Firstly, to achieve gender equity and equality in higher education leadership should begin with implementation of gender policies. This cannot happen without a gender forum to deal specifically with gender-related issues particularly in the context of leadership. Such a forum should ensure the promotion of full participation of women in decision-making. This constitutes gender mainstreaming or de-marginalising of women’s needs in transformation discourses,” she said.

She also recommended that gender transformation should not be about numbers but about quality as well. She concluded by saying that commitment to promoting gender equity and equality in higher education leadership is commendable. However, it must be supported by a concrete programme of action. “Gender equity and equality in higher education leadership is an ideal to which we should be prepared to commit effort and resources as we transform our institutions,” she said.