Factors Influencing Gender Equity In Headship Positions In Public Secondary Schools In Lurambi Division, Kakamega County, Kenya
Kenyanito, Dorcas L.
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The purpose of this study was to determine the factors influencing gender equity in headship positions in mixed public secondary schools in Lurambi Division, Kakamega County, Kenya. This region demonstrates massive gender disparity in regard to participation in educational headship positions. The study was guided by four objectives which were a) to establish the sociocultural factors that lead to gender inequity in educational headship; b) to analyse the extent to which women's own decisions not apply for headship influence gender equity in educational management; c) to examine the extent to which differences between male and female leadership styles influence gender equity in headship positions in secondary schools and d) to assess the extent to which the work-family conflict influences gender equity in headship positions in mixed public secondary schools in the region. Research questions were developed to gather information in order to address the objectives of the study. Related literature on gender equity in educational management was reviewed. The study was based on the equity theory of motivation. The study used descriptive survey design. The target population comprised of all the teachers, deputy head teachers, head teachers and the AEO of Lurambi Division. Data were analysed using the computer programme, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).The findings of the study indicated that socio-cultural factors were the strongest barriers that hindered women's participation in educational headship positions. The overall findings of the study revealed that women were marginally under-represented in headships of mixed public secondary school. Other contributing factors hindering women's participation in educational management were women's own decisions not to apply, differences between male and female leadership styles and the workfamily conflict. This situation exists despite the demand by the 2010 Kenya Constitution for observing a third- gender rule in public appointments. Kenya being a signatory of both the six Education for All (EF A) goals and eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) participated in the Jomtien Conference in 1990, and subsequently endorsed the EFA declaration. This reinforced the commitment of Kenya to the provision of education for all of its citizens. However, if the EFA goals that are pursuant to the MDGs goals are to be achieved there is need for full implementation of government policies and regulations. The findings of this study are significant in that they may assist the Ministry of Education in developing more appropriate strategies that will encourage more women to take part in educational headship positions. They may also help the government to strengthen the relevant policies and regulations with an objective of encouraging more women to take up headship positions in mixed public secondary schools. This will enable women to enjoy equity with men towards economic development.