Effects of gender mainstreaming policy implementation in public secondary schools in Msambweni Sub County in Kwale County, Kenya
Luvuno, Yawa Ellen
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The study sought to investigate the extent and effect of implementation of gender mainstreaming policy in public secondary schools in Msambweni Sub – County in Kwale County, Kenya. Anecdotal reports alleged that in most public institutions in the country, gender stereotyping was still rife and persons of one gender still predominantly held the lion‘s share of available opportunities. This implied either non-implementation of gender mainstreaming policy by the institutions‘ management or their reluctance to subscribe to the requirements of the tenets of the policy. Specifically it meant that the process of implementation of gender mainstreaming policy could be facing some obstacles thus the reluctance by the institutions to embrace its practice. The problem was compounded by the fact that there was minimal empirical data on the extent and effects of the process of implementation of gender mainstreaming policy particularly in marginal areas such as Msambweni Sub – County. A descriptive survey study was therefore proposed to provide data to help seal the existing research gap. The study sought to; find out the attitude of schools‘ principal towards gender mainstreaming policy, determine the composition of students council by gender, establish the composition of school workers by gender, determine the distribution of positions of subject heads and heads of departments by gender, determine the gender composition of school principals and deputy principals and identify the challenges of the process of implementation of gender mainstreaming policy in the Sub – County. A sample of 20 Principals from 20 public secondary schools participated in the study. Data was collected using questionnaires consisting of open and closed ended items. Information obtained was analysed descriptively using mean, percentages and frequencies with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences program (SPSS) computer software. Findings revealed that 66.7% of the Sub – County principals‘ perceived gender mainstreaming policy positively, the sub county‘s student council was made up of 50.4% girls and 49.6% boys, 68.5% male and 31.5% female teaching staff as well as 65.4% male and 34.6% female support staff. Similarly, there were 65.3% male and 34.7% heads of subject, 69.4% male and 30.6% heads of departments, 85% male and 15% female deputy principals as well as 80% male and 20% female principals. It can therefore be concluded that the Sub – County‘s principals perceives gender mainstreaming policy implementation positively and the public secondary schools within the Sub County had attained some meaningful levels of gender policy benchmarks that include gender parity in student enrolment as well as constitution of student council, a third gender rule in composition of the institutions‘ workforce as well as promotion of the teaching staff to heads of subjects and heads of departments. However, the Sub County‘s attainment of either a third gender rule or gender parity in the composition by gender of school principals and deputy principals was still a pipe dream as the number of male members were still tending to five times that of their female counterparts. The low attainments of some of the policy benchmarks were attributed to existing poor infrastructure. It is therefore recommended that more female workers be employed, more female teachers be promoted to positions of subject heads, heads of departments, deputy principals and principals within the Sub County to actualise the process of implementation of gender mainstreaming policy.