Gender bias towards South African female principals remains a problem and compelling issue for research. The Constitution policy addresses gender equality, yet women still do not experience equal rights in practice. This study uses a theory of intersectionality to examine two Black South African women’s leadership experiences in their roles as principals in two South African schools. The goal of the paper is to examine how these women negotiate obstacles in their work that may constrain their agency as leaders in South African schools. The project involves semi-structured interviews and the results provide a significant contribution to the small body of literature around female principals experiences in the role of the principalship in South Africa. The following themes emerged to illustrate the challenges these women face and the actions they take with which to negotiate these challenges: gender discrimination; lack of respect by parents; stereotyping of the women in motherhood roles; violence; and, lack of funding and resources.

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