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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Academic women at the University of Zimbabwe: career prospects, aspirations and family role constraints
Author:Dorsey, Betty J.
Periodical:Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research (ISSN 1013-3445)
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Education and Training
Labor and Employment
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
Status of Women
academic freedom
University of Zimbabwe
Abstract:At independence in 1980 the University of Zimbabwe faced two major problems with regard to the composition of academic staff: a racial imbalance and a gender imbalance. By 1987 the racial balance had considerably improved; the gender balance, however, remained a problem. Consequently, the Ford Foundation gave a grant to the Human Resources Research Centre to study the factors affecting academic career prospects for women at the University of Zimbabwe. This article presents the results of one aspect of this project: a survey of current members of the academic staff conducted in July and August 1988 using a mailed questionnaire. After a description of the characteristics of the respondents, the paper outlines the gender differences in academic rank and university governance and the gender differences in qualifications and productivity. Then it examines a number of socioeconomic, psychological and discriminatory factors which contribute to the academic women's syndrome of lower qualifications and lower productivity resulting in lower rank and lower salaries than their male counterparts: the career aspirations of men are significantly higher than those of women; a broad general consensus about beliefs in gender differences (women are weaker); and the fact that home and family responsibilities affect the careers of academic women to a greater extent than those of men. Bibliogr.