Public Sector: Ministry of Education, Eastern Province, Kenya
Kirima, Lucy Karimi
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Gender mainstreaming as a key strategy for promoting equality was adopted as aninternational policy in the Fourth World Conference at Beijing, 1995. Many studiesshow that in the decade following Beijing, a great deal of energy and resources were putinto gender mainstreaming implementation. Despite the tremendous progress in policydevelopment and abundance of information available on gender mainstreaming, reviewsand evaluations show a huge gap between policy commitments at Beijing and actualimplementation. The purpose of the study was to establish the contextual factors affectinggender mainstreaming implementation in the public sector. A descriptive survey research26th Postgraduate Seminar Abstracts. June. 2013. Odesign was used in the study. The target population consisted of the provincial and districts gender coordinators and the heads of public secondary schools in Eastern province.Eastern province was selected purposively among other provinces in Kenya because oflow transition rate from primary to secondary schools. A total of 211 respondents weresampled through purposive and random sampling techniques. A questionnaire and aninterview schedule were used to collect primary data. Descriptive statistics were used tosummarize the properties of the mass data that were collected from the respondents. Factoranalysis was used to determine the factors that were used in the study namely; strength ofstrategies, gender mainstreaming strategies, gender policy in education, gender disparitiesin education and understanding of the policy which were used in logistic regression analysis.Logic regression was used to determine the effect of the factors on gender mainstreaming.Among the five factors, only one factor (gender disparities in education) affected gendermainstreaming negatively. All other predictor variables: strength of strategies; gendermainstreaming strategies; gender policy in education and understanding of gender policyin education affected gender mainstreaming positively. From the findings, it is evident thatGender policy in education is not being implemented effectively in the public secondaryschools and there are several external and internal factors affecting gender mainstreamingin the education sector which includes; inadequate commitment from top-down to the institution, lack of understanding of the gender concept, inadequate training andawareness for teachers, gender imbalance and inadequate training for Board of Governorsand Parents Teachers Association, inadequate resources and socio-cultural factors. Thestudy concluded that the school heads, teachers and management were ill-prepared for thepolicy implementation, there is inadequate support, training and awareness, poor systemof monitoring and evaluation, and that the policies and strategies outlined for secondary schools are appropriate and satisfactory but requires balancing between boys and girls.