Factors affecting women participation in leadership in public primary schools in Kitui West District, Kenya
Nzuki, Festus M
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The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that determine women participation in the leadership of public primary schools in Kitui west district, Kenya. Women in the district are poorly represented in the management of the primary schools. Three research questions were advanced to guide the study. The first question sought to establish whether the teachers' educational qualifications and training influence their selection to leadership positions in the public primary schools. The second question sought to establish whether gender roles limit women participation in the leadership of public primary schools. Finally, the third question sought to establish whether cultural beliefs and values limited women appointment to administrative positions in the public primary schools. The review of the literature focused on educational qualification and training in relation to the appointment to the leadership positions in public primary schools, the influence of gender roles in relation to female leadership in public primary schools and the influence of cultural beliefs and values on the women leadership in public primary schools. The researcher constructed three separate questionnaires for the education officials, for the head teachers and for teachers in the schools. The questionnaire sought demographic information, educational qualifications, work experience and perceptions of factors that were believed to hinder women participation in leadership of public primary schools. The study was carried out in five divisions out of eleven divisions in Kitui west. The participants were selected through simple random sampling. Professional qualifications for female teachers were a consideration for promotion as none of them was at the PI level as opposed to male teachers who 25.9% were still PI teachers. The major hindrance to women's appointment to leadership was that most communities devalue women leadership (92.6%), then women are too busy with domestic chores (87.8%) and most of them never apply for leadership positions (80.5%). Having attained such research findings, the researcher made three recommendations. These were that: i) More women should be given chances to higher education and training so that they can compete fairly with male counterparts for the leadership positions. ii) Awareness should be created in the communities so that they participate and assist in all domestic chores to reduce the burden on women so that they can have more time for their careers. iii) Measures by policy makers should be put in place to ensure both women and men apply for leadership positions.