Influence of Women’s Social Characteristics on their Participation in Leadership: Case Private Universities Mogadishu, Somalia
Raqia, Ahmed Mohamed
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This study examines women‟s social characteristics that may contribute to their low participation level in leadership positions. The overall purpose of the study was to explore the influence of women‟s social characteristics on their participation in leadership, using a case of three private Universities in Mogadishu. With this purpose, the following four specific objectives were set: to identify the Influence of family responsibility on women participation in leadership. To determine the Influence of women academic involvement on their participation in leadership. To determine the Influence of cultural aspects and religion on women participation in leadership. To assess the Influence of women‟s economic empowerment on their participation in leadership: a case of private Universities in Mogadishu, to guide the researcher through every step of the study procedure. The study adopted a correlational research design. Data was collected through selfreports (questionnaires and interviews) and correlations. A sample of 73 representative participants was selected at simple random from 89 target population at three private universities in Mogadishu. The research findings were analyzed and interpreted in brief textual explanations, supported by data presented in frequency tables. The study in general thought that the men who control the three researched private universities in Mogadishu entertain a doubt about women‟s capability of doing managerial tasks, implying that women are not very fit for leadership positions-a labelling that made most of the women there lose confidence and the courage to aspire to posts at managerial levels in those universities. The study concluded that family responsibilities have an influence on women‟s participation in leadership. These universities do not provide support for women with family responsibilities, for example, they do not cater for the needs of the women with family responsibilities. The study reached the conclusion that women‟s lack of involvement in academic activities has an influence on their participation in leadership, mostly owing to their under representation at senior levels in these private universities. The study came to the conclusion that cultural aspects and religion have an influence on their participation in leadership. In tradition, Somali communities disapprove of women assuming leadership positions for unfair opinions about their gender. The study also concluded that women economic empowerment has an influence on their participation in leadership, that a well-paid job is central to economic empowerment, given its inherent importance to women‟s well-being and ability to advance in areas such as acquiring income and assets. The study strongly recommended that all appropriate stakeholders should make a concerted effort to ensure that the different institutions of society (the family, the school, the university, the community and the government) respect Somali women‟s rights and meet their needs and requirements by means of laws, rules policies, economic empowerment, up-skilling, procedures, standards, daily practices and national forums on gender inequality to identify and develop strategies for dealing with the existing gender issues and concerns in higher educational institutions in order to increase women‟s participation in leadership positions.