Patriarchy: A case of Women in Institutions of Higher Education


  • Eunice Tressa Dlamini University of Zululand
  • Jabulile Dorothy Adams University of Zululand


Patriarchy, transformation, gender equality, power analysis


This article presents research on women’s experiences of patriarchy in a Higher Education Institution X. This is a qualitative study located within the interpretivists’ paradigm. The research problem of this study is articulated through the following research questions: how do female academics experience patriarchy? How does patriarchy impact on their upward mobility? And, how does patriarchy affect their academic output? A purposive sample of eight Black female academics that have experienced the phenomenon under study participated in this research. Data were collected by means of an interview schedule and through self-written stories of experiences that have been thematically analysed. The findings revealed that women at Institution X experienced male supremacy, disempowerment, and disrespect of womenfolk. Another finding is that patriarchy impacts on their upward mobility and deprives them of promotions they deserve. The participants also felt that the reigning patriarchal environment does not only impact on their academic output but also on their intellectual and emotional wellbeing and their person. Suggestions for corrective measures were put forward for use by the Department of Higher Education, Higher Education Institutions and other stakeholders.


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How to Cite

Dlamini, E. T., & Adams, J. D. (2014). Patriarchy: A case of Women in Institutions of Higher Education. Perspectives in Education, 32(4), 121-133. Retrieved from



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