Factors affecting women leadership in the public Primary Schools in Mwea Division, Embu County
Elishoper, Gideon N.
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This study sought to analyze women leaders‘ experiences as they try to navigate a balance between their home and work responsibilities. Specifically, this study aimed at: Assessing the perceptions and attitudes of teachers towards female leaders; Establishing the government policies on gender parity in managerial positions in primary schools in Kenya; evaluating the barriers and hindrances that women encounter in their quest to top leadership positions in primary schools and to suggest possible strategies to enhance women participation in primary school leadership in Kenya. Available literature suggests that balancing private and public life for working women with families can be taxing, especially for married women. The study used descriptive survey design. The population of the study comprised both women and men, who were head teachers; deputy head teachers and teachers in primary schools in Mwea division. A sample of 72 respondents who included; two (2) Area Officers, 10 Head teachers, 10 Deputy Head teachers, 10 senior teachers and forty (40) teaching staff were selected. Data were collected using a questionnaires for males and interviews schedules for women to determine and understand the nature of the challenges experienced by female leaders in education. Data were analyzed descriptively. This study identified some of the gendered social practices that disadvantage women and gave suggestions on how to achieve gender equity in primary school leadership. The study established that women advancement to higher leadership positions in public primary schools was affected by factors such as perception and attitude. It was also noted that women were discriminated upon and could not rise to top leadership positions due to family matters and stereotype among the leadership that was male dominated. The study concluded that if perception and attitude towards women leadership is not changed, there is very little that could be achieved on gender equality. The study recommends advocacy among men and women to change their attitude and perceptions toward women leadership in public primary schools. It further recommends that the Ministry of Education and other players in primary education should enforce gender parity policies in recruitment, appointment and the promotion of women so that discrimination against women to leadership is eliminated.