The Impact of COVID-19 on Female School Leadership in the Tshwane South District in South Africa

Women Leading Schools in a Crisis




Female school leaders, COVID-19, role theory, gender role, gender expectations, South Africa


Female school leaders in South Africa experienced challenges during the pandemic because of gender stereotypes. This study aimed to explore the impact of COVID-19 on female school leadership. Qualitative methods were used to interpret female leaders’ attitudes, experiences, and understanding of specific circumstances. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews supported by analysis of school documents. Findings revealed that female school leaders relied on their self-confidence, networking, and use of COVID-19 policy to overcome challenges. This study presented that the use of different leadership styles also made a positive impact on female school leaders. They experienced challenges such as failure to execute their leadership positions due to gender stereotypes and lack of community and district support. There is a need for the government to develop approaches that would address the impact of COVID-19 across sectors. Future studies should examine support for school leaders.

Author Biographies

Penelope Mgiba, University of Johannesburg

Mrs Mgiba Penelope Joana is a postgraduate student at the University of Johannesburg in the Department of Educational Leadership and Management. She is also a school teacher in the Gauteng Department of Education. Her focus area is women education leadership and management.


Zvisinei Moyo, University of Johannesburg

Zvisinei Moyo is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Educational and Management in the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg. Zvisinei has been a lecturer in the Education Leadership, Policy and Skills Division at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is a beneficiary of the South African National Research Foundation Freestanding Postdoctoral Fellowship 2019 to 2020. She has been the recipient of the 2018 Recognition of Excellence for Outstanding Achievement in Research and Academic Citizenship in the Postdoctoral Research Fellow Programme of the University of Johannesburg. Her current research interests include education leadership, women in education leadership, social justice and gender issues. She has published several journal articles and book chapters including a systematic literature review in women leading and managing education. She has presented her work at numerous national and international conferences.



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How to Cite

Mgiba, Penelope, and Zvisinei Moyo. “The Impact of COVID-19 on Female School Leadership in the Tshwane South District in South Africa : Women Leading Schools in a Crisis”. Journal of Law, Society and Development, 18 pages.



Received 2023-07-28
Accepted 2024-01-02
Published 2024-02-21