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Study on Promoting Female Primary School Leadership in Ethiopia: Countering Culture

This study, conducted with affiliations to Bahir Dahr University, sought to identify the factors contributing to the ongoing under-representation of women in primary school leadership in Ethiopia with the larger aim of developing recommendations for interventions to rectify this situation. A qualitative research plan was adopted that sought to identify factors through an examination of the lived experiences of women principals in primary schools in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia’s third largest city. Data were collected from interviews with 20 women serving as principals, vice-principals and teachers, analysis of documents at the national, regional and district level and observations at seven primary schools in Bahir Dar. Findings suggest that cultural factors including gender bias regarding leadership, and socialisation of girls for domestic roles and responsibilities that limit aspirations, combine with structural and institutional factors that make leadership positions difficult to access for women. These include gender bias in appointment and transfer procedures, lack of support and training at district education office level, the lack of a transparent career path, and appointments to schools that present greater challenges specifically to women.

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Latest update: 10.01.2024