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Title: Invisibility, silence and absence : a study of the account taken by two Kenyan universities about the effects of HIV and AIDS on senior women staff
Author: Kamau, Agnes Nyokabi
ISNI:       0000 0001 3594 2864
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This study sought to investigate two Kenyan universities where it seemed like HIV and AIDS and gender issues, especially as they affect senior women staff, were unrecognised, not spoken about and absent from policy and practice. The study utilises a feminist perspective and qualitative methods of data practice. Conversational and focused interviews, AIDS policy analysis and field notes were applied for data collection. Twenty senior women academics and senior administrators, four men and one woman representing senior management of the two universities were interviewed. Using women’s experiences with HIV and AIDS as a reflexive device, this thesis provides yet another example of how embedded male structures in academia hinder gender equality. Using feminist concepts of structuralism, silence, discourse, personal is political, care, silence and reflexivity, the women’s experiences as professionals, also affected by HIV and AIDS are analysed. From this analysis, the impediments to women’s career progression in academia are identified: outmoded gender stereotypes; inequalities; limited access to doctoral studies; lack of women-friendly policies and few research opportunities on women’s issues and by women. The findings further suggest that the separation of the public and the private lives make it more difficult for women to balance their personal and professional roles, especially in this era of HIV and AIDS. Silences and stigma surrounding sexuality issues are seen to play a major role in the persisting discrimination of those infected and or affected by HIV and AIDS in two universities. The analysis of women’s experiences and the universities’ responses to HIV and AIDS shows that university policies need to be accompanied by programmes and practices that make explicit and challenge behaviours that reproduce and reinforce male hegemony in academia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available