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Women principals in South Africa: gender, mothering and leadership

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Abstract

This paper draws on qualitative data from a mixed-method study that analysed women's access to the principal role and their leadership experiences. The paper draws on a subset of interviews with 54 female head teachers in the Gauteng and North West provinces of South Africa. Since a mothering style of leadership was self-reported by over half of the participants in our study, this paper aims to explore the diverse ways in which motherhood was constructed and the outcomes of these constructions on women.

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