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Women academics in Pakistani higher education institutions: who really is the Big Bad Wolf?
journal contributionposted on 2022-09-30, 00:26 authored by A Mansoor, Muneera Bano
In this paper, we investigate the under-examined relationships between Pakistani women academic leaders and their female counterparts without leadership roles. We delve into the controversial assumptions that Pakistani women academic leaders enact patriarchal feminism that involves replicating masculinist practices of exclusion and thereby become a substitute Big Bad Wolf for their women coworkers. Data were collected via a questionnaire titled ‘Women in Leadership Positions in Pakistani Academia’ which was disseminated among women academics in 18 Pakistani higher educational institutions. This data was used to disentangle the contradictions in women academics’ attitudes toward their female colleagues in leadership positions and vice versa as well as the challenges framing their working relationships. We then postulate Luce Irigaray’s idea of the all-inclusive ‘female whole’ as a counterfoil to patriarchal feminism and to frame a feminine model of leadership that embraces the maternal instinct because it does not entail a weakening of women academic leaders nor a disregard for discipline and authority.