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Title: Experiences of Becoming and Being Academic Women in Bhutan
Contributor(s): Maxwell, Tom  (author); Gyamtso, Deki (author); Seden, Kinley (author); Wangmo, Neyzang (author); Lhamo, Dawa (author); Tshechu, Sangay (author); Choden, Tshering (author); Tshomo, Ugyen (author); Lhamo, Namgay (author)
Publication Date: 2015
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: No research has previously been carried out on women in Bhutan becoming and being academics. Although there is a strong legal environment for gender equality generally, in practice there are socio-cultural interpretations of Buddhist teachings that have negatively impacted upon women. We used interviews following Giddens' structuration theory where signification is given prominence. In this exploratory study, eight research assistants (RAs) interviewed two junior and two senior female academics each in English. Each RA transcribed the data which were analyzed with the assistance of NVivo. The major inspiration for the younger women to become academics was their teachers. Parents, family and partners were also seen as important support. Social structures and practices, supported by certain Buddhist interpretations, were dominant in affecting these academic women's role. Teaching load was apparently shared equally but research and service roles were strongly gendered. Discriminatory practices were identified including unequal access to learning opportunities (including overseas), in research and in access to power (information). Two thirds of the interviewed women had practical suggestions about how to improve gender equity though very few mentioned affirmative action strategies common in the West. The vast majority of the 30 women interviewed indicated that they were happy with their work as academics. Policy, practice and research implications are identified.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 4(2), p. 13-26
Publisher: Royal University of Bhutan
Place of Publication: Bhutan
ISSN: 2789-5254
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130103 Higher Education
130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390303 Higher education
390406 Gender, sexuality and education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160205 Policies and development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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