Gender policies and advancement of women into leadership in public secondary schools in Kisauni and Likoni sub-counties, Mombasa County Kenya
Aringo, Faith A.
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Advancement of women into headship positions in many institutions has been an issue of concern globally. Consequently, many bodies including sitting governments have put in place policies that ensure that women are able to access such posts. The purpose of this study hence, was to analyze various gender policies for the progression of women into leadership positions in public secondary schools in Kisauni and Likoni sub-counties, Mombasa County, Kenya. The objectives of the study was to: analyze gender policies which guide appointments of public secondary school male and female teachers into school headship positions in Kisauni and Likoni sub-counties, find out the perceptions of teachers on the employment policy of head teachers in public secondary schools in Kisauni and Likoni sub-counties, examine policy challenges faced by women teachers in advancing to headship positions in public secondary schools in Kisauni and Likoni sub-counties, and to establish respondents‟ views about solutions to challenges women teachers face in advancing to headship positions in public secondary schools in Kisauni and Likoni sub-counties. This study was guided by the social role theory. The study targeted a population of all the two hundred and eighty (280) teachers, twelve (12) head teachers, twelve (20) Board of Management (BOM) chairpersons, and two (2) Sub-County Directors of Education (SCDEs) in Kisauni and Likoni sub-counties. The study used purposive and stratified random sampling. Hence the sample size was made of 77 subjects. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. From the study such policies as affirmative action, MDGs for women empowerment, Kenya Vision 2030, equal educational opportunities among others were examined. It was realized that there were two women head teachers heading secondary schools in the two sub-counties. Socio-cultural challenges like gender disparity in employment opportunities, low confidence and self-esteem, societal beliefs that women should stay at home and take care of the children featured as the major drawback that made women to lag behind in assuming headship positions. The study concluded that although there existed policies guiding appointment of teachers into headship, they were rarely followed and that women in the two sub-counties remained behind because of cultural stereotypes among the coastal communities. The study recommended that educational stakeholders in the coast be educated on several aspects of the society especially on some backward cultural stereotypes that undermined women