School of Education

Shakila Singh

Shakila Singh




Contact Number



Edgewood Campus

Office Address

CF141 Main tutorial building


  • 2017 Associate Professor: Gender Education
  • 2013 Academic Discipline Co-ordinator (Gender Education)
  • 2010 Senior lecturer: Gender Education
  • 2007 Academic Discipline Co-ordinator: Science Education
  • 2006 Academic Programme Co-ordinator (Masters in Education)
  • 2006: Senior Lecturer,
  • 2005: Academic Programme Co-ordinator (Masters in Education)ss


  • Principal Investigator (Current) – NRF funded project- Alcohol use at Higher Education Institutions
  • NRF Rating: C2:  2016-2021
  • Principal Investigator (2013-2015) – NRF funded project-Safer learning environments: Reducing gender based violence at UKZN residences and selected schools


  • 2019 School of Education Award of Excellence in Community Engagement output
  • 2019 School of Education Award of Excellence for Mentorship of Early Career Academics
  • 2016-2021 National Research Foundation (NRF) Rating – C2
  • 2018 Recipient of an award for being one of the Top 10 women researchers in the Faculty of Humanities, UKZN
  • 2018 NRF grant: Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers
  • “Certificate of Best Presentation Award’ at an International Conference on Children, Women and Social Sciences, Mumbai, India- 2018
  • School of Education Award for Excellence in Teaching – 2016
  • ‘Best Paper of the Session’ award at the International Conference on Culture, Knowledge and Society, Thailand-2016
  • Commonwealth split-site scholarship award for PhD studies in UK- 2000-2001
  • Chancellor’s award (UDW) for excellence for outstanding academic and research achievement – 2001
  • School of Educational Studies Women in research recognition award – 2000
  • UDW Merit award -1996

Research Interests

  • Gender Education; Gender, Teenage pregnancy; sexuality and HIV, Gender violence

Teaching Interests

  • Gender Education; Gender, Teenage pregnancy; sexuality and HIV, Gender violence


PhD, Masters, Hons projects in the fields of

  • Gender Education; Gender, Teenage pregnancy; Sexuality and HIV, Gender violence


  • (2019). Singh S & Naicker, P. Development of Resilience in Teenage Mothers within Contextual Realities of Poor Rural South Africa. Journal of Poverty.
  • (2018)  Social networking as a strategic tool in the management of school-based violence, with Chidi Eke, South African Journal of Education, 38(1): Art. # 1320, 8 pages.
  • (2017). Redefining love: Female university students developing resilience to intimate partner violence. With T. Myende. Agenda 31 (2): 22-33.
  • (2017). Policy for Prevention of Sexual Assault on Campus:  Higher education Students’ Perspectives. With B. Mabaso, R. Mudaly and A. Singh-Pillay. Alternation. 23(1): 113-134.
  • (2016). Easier said than done: African male university students’ projections of masculine performances within (future) marriage. South African Review of Sociology, 47(4) DOI: 10.1080/21528586.2016.1163287.
  • (2016). Reflections of a group of South African teenage mothers: Sexual health implications (2015) with A. Hamid. Health Education Journal (Impact factor 0.694) 75 (3): 278-288, first published online on March 17, 2015. DOI: 10.1177/0017896915574891
  • (2015). Connecting with pre-service teachers’ perspectives on the use of digital technologies and social media to teach socially relevant science with R. Mudaly, K. Pithouse-Morgan, L. van Laren and C. Mitchell. Perspectives in Education, 33(4): 23-41.
  • (2015). The What, Who and Where of female students’ fear of sexual assault on a South African university campus, with A. Singh-Pillay and R. Mudaly. Agenda, 29(3): 97-105.
  • (2015). Digital Animation for “Going Public” with K. Pithouse-Morgan, L. van Laren, C. Mitchell and R. Mudaly. South African Journal for Higher Education, 29(2) 237-259.
  • (2014). Health and liberation crossroads: Cigarette smoking among female students at a South African university. Alternation, 21(1): 190-202.
  • (2013). Starting with ourselves in deepening our understandings of generativity in participatory educational research, with L. van Laren, R. Mudaly and K. Pithouse-Morgan. South African Journal of Education. 33(4): 1-16.
  • (2013). Women want love, men want wives: The discourse of romantic love in young adults’ future marriage goals. Agenda, 27(2): 22-29.
  • (2012). Exploring University Educators’ Lived Experiences of Curriculum Innovating through Integrating HIV & AIDS, with L. van Laren, C. Mitchell, R. Mudaly and K. Pithouse-Morgan. Alternation, 19(2):138-161.
  • (2011). Young women’s understandings of (future) marriage: links to sexual risk and HIV prevention. Agenda, 87: 38-42.
  • (2011). Choosing to be unsafe: young adults’ sexual decision-making within the context of HIV and AIDS. Journal of Educational Studies, 10(1): 207-222.
  • (2010). Shifting public/private boundaries: Young women’s sexuality within the context of HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Agenda, 83: 88-94.
  • (2008). (Teen) Age is more than a number: Generational identity within the context of HIV and AIDS. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 18(3): 217-222.
  • (2007). Risking It: Young Heterosexual Femininities in South African Context of HIV/AIDS, with M. Dunne. Sexualities,10(2): 157-170.
  • (2005). “It’s not as easy as ABC”: Intergenerational power and resistance within the context of HIV/AIDS. Perspectives in Education, 23(3):11-19.
  • (2004). Safe sex or safe love? Competing discourses within the context of HIV/AIDS. Alternation: International Journal for the study of Southern African Literature and Languages, 11(2): 440-453.
  • (2004). Deconstructing “adolescence” within the context of HIV/AIDS. Bulletin for Academic Staff and Students. School of Educational Studies, UKZN, 1 (1): 37-47.
  • (2003). Understanding the context: HIV/AIDS education in South Africa. MANCOSA Journal of Management and Administration, 2(2): 1-9.
  • (2017). Control as support: Improving the outcomes for teenage mothers with Preenisha Naicker. Young Families: Gender, Sexuality and Care. Nolwazi Mkhwanazi and Deevia Bhana (Eds.) HSRC Press: South Africa
  • (2017). Interviewing Teenage Schooling Mothers: Insights From Research and Supervision in Sensitive Areas, with P. Naicker in SAGE Research Methods Cases in Health, online publication (
  • (2012). Gender, Sexuality and HIV and AIDS education in South Africa with D. Bhana, in International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 18, 213-230. Emerald Group Publishing Limited: United Kingdom.
  • (2007). Heterosexual Masculinities in South Africa, with M. Dunne, in Gender, Sexuality and Development, Education and Society in sub-Saharan Africa, 159-169. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam, Taipei.
  • (2004). Science teaching engaging with the problem of HIV/AIDS, with M. Savage, in School Science in Africa. Learning to teach, teaching to learn, 160-179. Juta Gariep: South Africa.
  • (2003). Gender and HIV/AIDS: Unsafe sex as a rational choice. In Biakolo, E., Mathangwane, J. and Odallo, D. (Eds). TheDiscourse of HIV/AIDS in Africa, 200-204. Gaborone.

Current: Project Title: Alcohol use at higher education institutions.

Overall goals: This project is funded by the NRF. Alcohol use is a growing concern in South Africa and has been associated with sexual risk and high rates of gender-based violence.  Furthermore, sexual risk and gender based violence have been found to be closely connected to HIV infection, which continues to be serious threat in South Africa. This project will explore alcohol use at a selected South African higher education institution (HEI), with particular focus on gender and sexuality. It aims foster collaboration amongst researchers and students with a view to understand and intervene in creating higher education institutions as safe and conducive learning spaces.  This study employs a gendered perspective to facilitate more nuanced understandings of student identities and its connections to drinking motives and alcohol-related behaviours amongst university students. Given the South African context of high levels of gender based violence and HIV, the association of alcohol use, sexual risk and gender based violence, is significant.

Position: Principal Investigator
(2013-2015). Project title: Safer learning environments: Reducing gender based violence at UKZN residences and selected schools.
Overall goals: This project is funded by the NRF. The overall goals of this project include a commitment to the improvement in the quality of education by creating safe learning environments where male and female students can participate fully and freely.
This study attempts to provide reliable statistics on the extent, the location, the times and the nature of gender-based violence (GBV) at UKZN. There are no available statistics of this kind. It contributes to addressing methodological
challenges of accessing reliable data and researching in sensitive areas. It engages students in reflecting on their social, cultural, political, educational and institutional circumstances that make them vulnerable to being victims and/or
perpetrators of GBV. It entails working with students rather than for students. This reflection challenges some of the social, cultural, political, educational and institutional circumstances that make
them vulnerable, and facilitates the development of strategies to reduce GBV at university.
Position: Principal Investigator
(2015-2016). Project title: Exploring support-seeking behaviours of male undergraduate students at UKZN (with Dr Ronicka Mudaly, Dr Vimolan Mudaly, Dr Asheena Singh-Pillay, Ms Bongeka Mabaso).
Overall goals: This project is funded by the UTLO office of UKZN. The overall goals include: To explore male undergraduate students’ perceptions about support provided at UKZNto explore the social construction of gender
in male undergraduate students’ support-seeking behaviours at UKZN, to explore social norms and ideologies influencing male undergraduate students’ support-seeking behaviour, and to explore male undergraduate students’ perceptions about
the effects of support-seeking behaviour on academic performance.
Position: Core Research Team member
(2011-2014). Project title: Exploring and showcasing the work of lecturers/tutors/fieldworkers who contribute to the teaching and learning of HIV&AIDS education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (with Dr Linda van Laren, Dr Kathleen
Pithouse-Morgan, Pr/td>
of Claudia Mitchell and Dr Ronicka Mudaly)
Overall goals: This project was funded by the UTLO office of UKZN. The overall goals included an exploration of the experiences and work of university educators who are involved in curriculum innovating through integrating HIV & AIDS in their teaching
at a South African university. The study aimed to locate, document, highlight, encourage and explore further possibilities for curriculum innovating through integrating HIV & AIDS in Higher Education.
Position: Core Research Team member
(2010- 2012). Project Title: To have and to hold: Young adults’ understandings of and preparation for life within marriage
Overall goals: The overall goal of the study was to explore the gendered expectations of young adults of their own roles and those of their marriage partners. The study focused on young people’s understandings about and preparedness for dealing with safety
within marriage, with particular relevance to the context of HIV/AIDS.
Position: Principal Investigator
(2011). Project Title: Smoking amongst female university students
Overall goals: The overall goals of the project included an attempt to understand why more female university students have taken up smoking in spite of the possible negative impacts that this may have on their health. It also looked at the intersections
of gender, race, and class in the particular meanings that female student smokers attach to their versions of femininity. An important focus was to understand female university students’ notions of empowerment, freedom and responsibility
in relation to possible health risks.
Position: Principal Investigator

Community Involvement

  • Participatory research- working with students and schools towards addressing gender violence and creating safer learning environments