Barriers to Female Leadership and their Influence on Women Inclusivity in Management of Public Primary Schools in Makueni County Kenya
Kilonzo, Kezier S.
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There has been a notable gender gap in leadership and management positions globally, regionally, nationally and locally in Makueni County. This has persisted despite the many years of gender activism worldwide. Any unequal society cannot boast of quality in its education system. Therefore this study sought to assess “Barriers to female leadership and their influence on women‟ inclusivity in management of public primary Schools in Makueni County”. The study was guided by Liberal Feminist Theory as proposed by Bryson (1999). The objectives of the study were; to identify the perception of teachers on the inclusion of female teachers in public primary school management in Makueni County, to establish the social-cultural barriers that hinder female teachers inclusion in management positions in public primary schools of Makueni County, to identify the extent which to policies and practices that govern recruitment, appointment and promotion of primary school teachers hinder female teachers into management positions in Makueni county and to find out the strategies for enhancing female teachers‟ inclusion in management positions in public primary schools of Makueni County. The target population of this study was 120 head teachers, 122 deputy headteachers, 122 senior teachers and the 648 teachers giving a total of 1012 participants. Two head teachers and 10 teachers were chosen for piloting. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey design. Makueni County was sampled purposively while schools were sampled through stratified sampling. All teachers were sampled through simple random sampling. Headteachers, deputies and senior teachers were sampled through purposive sampling. The sample size was 132 respondents specifically, 16 headteachers, 16 deputy headteachers, 16 senior teachers and 84 teachers. The sample size was 13% of the total target population. Data was obtained by using questionnaires and interview schedule. The instruments were pilot tested in two public primary schools to check their comprehensiveness. The researcher used communicative validation to ensure validity of the instruments. Expert judgement was sought to determine the content validity of the instruments. Reliability of questionnaires was tested using the internal consistency method. A Cronbach Alpha value of 0.6 was considered sufficient. Quantitative data was coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.The specific statistics that were used were frequencies and percentages and results presented in tables and charts. Qualitative data was subjected to thematic analysis and results presented in narrations and verbatim quotations. The major findings of this study ; social cultural barriers such as stereotype and gender bias and failure to follow the policies that exist on gender balance were confirmed as the main barriers that hinder women inclusivity in management of public primary schools of Makueni county. The study also established that seminars and workshops, women empowerment and education awareness campaigns were the major strategies that could help overcome those barriers. The study recommends that there is need to strictly adhere to gender policies during recruitment and promotion of teachers, the ministry of education in conjunction with the TSC to craft an affirmative action for the inclusion of women teachers to leadership in Makueni County and the Makueni County government and society to empress female leaders among the teaching fraternity and old campaigns against gender stereotypes in order to include more women in management positions.