Academy of Educational Leadership Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6328; Online ISSN: 1528-2643)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 25 Issue: 2S

Gender and Leadership in Ethiopian Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities: The Case of Addis Ababa University

Easaw Alemayehu, Addis Ababa University

Citation Information: Alemayehu, E. (2021). Gender and Leadership in Ethiopian Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities: The Case of Addis Ababa University. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 25(S2), 1-22.

Abstract

Gender equality has been to the forefront of public debate in recent years. Despite international initiatives for gender equality and fairness in higher education institutions, research done in numerous countries continue to indicate that women are underrepresented in top academic leadership roles. Similarly women are underrepresented in Ethiopian higher education institutions. The goal of this study was to determine the challenges and opportunities faced by women working in leadership position at Addis Ababa University. The research looks at how challenges and opportunities affect women both adversely and favorably. The technique of data collection utilized in this study was a descriptive survey, and the instrument utilized to acquire primary data from sample respondents was a questionnaire and an interview as a primary source of data, and document analysis as a secondary source of data. A total of 100 (one hundred) respondents were chosen for the study from 5 campuses using the purposive sample approach. The year of the survey was 2021. In order to answer the core research questions and meet the study's aims, both quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods were used. As a result, the gathered official reports were recorded, edited, arranged, analyzed, presented, and interpreted in connection to research questions for the study's fulfillment and effective completion. The study's findings show that women's involvement in leadership position at Addis Ababa University is still at an all-time low. Low leadership position engaged by women is due to a variety of barriers. These difficulties were divided into three categories: social issues, organizational/institutional issues, and personal traits. On the other hand, the finding as opportunity showed that women who are in leadership positions are strong decision-makers and dedicated to their universities and careers

Keywords

Challenges, Gender, Higher Education, and Leadership.

Introduction

Background of the Study

Since the previous four decades, the issue of gender in higher education has piqued the interest of researchers and policymakers. Since then, there has been a focus on reducing gender disparities in education by developing female erudition on par with male erudition. Although there was lobbying and some encouraging scenarios on the issue of gender, gender disparities in higher education persist in many nations throughout the world, Abebayehu A, (1995) especially in Africa (Bunyi, 2004; FAWE, 2002). As a result, the Millennium Development Goals of “eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005 and at all levels by 2015” was not achieved to be met even to the academic year of 2021 let alone 2015.

Leadership, according to Caiazza (2004), is a very gendered word or notion. And leadership continues to be associated with men in a number of cultural contexts. Despite the fact that women hold positions of leadership and responsibility, it is common to presume that the "rightful" leader is a man. Men are more likely than women to be leader in most nations (Caiazza, 2004; Annis, 2008). Although contemporary perspectives in leadership in companies and elsewhere prefer a style that is far distant from stereotype masculine leadership and more in line with patterns that may be described as feminine, leadership is still viewed as a male attribute.

According to Caiazza, 2004, women, particularly in poorer nations, tend to assume less prominent positions in corporate leadership through supportive jobs. The significance of this study stems from the notion that views regarding women in leadership influence women's participation in higher education leadership, and that woman in positions of administration, in turn, engage in policies that benefit women.

Even though previous studies have assessed the situation of gender differences and the status of women in Ethiopia in some characteristics, it is critical to examine, update, and document the situation whenever new data is available, as this will allow for the identification of changes/improvements over time, or the lack thereof, as well as the evaluation of the effects of various relevant policies and programs in the main areas of concern such as women, population, youth, health and education. One of several categories of inequality between men and women is their job situation, that is expressed by pay gap, sexual preference salary inequalities, and women's greater involvement in unpaid labor and higher rates of unemployment (UNFPA, 2004). According to Helegsin, (1990) because women in poor nations have low social status, the activities they conduct are valued less; thus women's poor social status is also maintained by the low value put on their activities Asmamaw, A. T. (2017).

The United Nations "Millennium Development Goals" (UN, 2003) specifically address women's issues, promoting gender equality and women's empowerment, and the UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) (UN, 2005a) promotes gender equality and women's empowerment around the world for sustainable development, peace and security, governance, and human rights. The Women's Policy primarily aims to institutionalize women's political, economic, and social rights by establishing an appropriate structure in government offices and institutions to ensure that public policies and interventions are gender-sensitive and that all Ethiopian men and women benefit equally from development (TGE, 1994). Article 25 of the new constitution, which is consistent with the aforementioned principle, guarantees all people equality before the law and bans any discrimination based on gender. Furthermore, Article 35 reaffirms the ideals of equal access to economic possibilities, including the right to equal pay and property ownership (FDRE, 1995).

The FDRE constitution guarantees women the same rights as males. Numerous provisions in the constitution deal with gender problems and emphasize the importance women are given. Article 35 of the constitution specifies the quality of women and men, recognizes the right to affirmative action for women, and pays particular attention to women in public and private institutions so that they can compete on an equal footing with men in political, social, and economic life (Watts, 2007).

As a result, it's easy to see why studying is necessary. And, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the obstacles and possibilities faced by women in Leadership position at Addis Ababa University five campuses.

Some Theoretical and Conceptual Basis

Gender is studied via a socio-cultural perspective in theory. This is due to the fact that gender stereotypes' strength is not just mental; they also have a flawless tangible actuality. Material reality contributes to the social and economic environment in which they have grown and worked (Collier & Rosaldo, 1981). Thus, gender disparity in the present context refers to the unfair treatment of females as compared to males in education, which is rooted in the way society and its culture works. In this context, gender disparity refers to the unequal treatment of females in education relative to males, which is based in the way society and culture operate Annis, B(2008).

Gender equality has become a major source of concern in recent years. Despite international initiatives for gender equality and fairness in higher education institutions, research in numerous countries demonstrate that women remain underrepresented in senior academic leadership roles. For example, the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were created for the period 2000–2015 in eight particular sectors, contained objectives for promoting gender equality and women's empowerment, as well as increased access to education (United Nations New Millennial Goals, 2017). Following that, the United Nations developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the years 2016–2030, one of which is to provide “equal access to education, health care, decent job, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes” for women and girls (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, 2017).

Gender imbalance in leadership in higher education is a global concern since progress toward parity has been slow and unequal, despite the fact that more women are increasingly ascending to leadership positions in higher education (Davidson & Burke, 2004). The idea of gender equality was first recognized in the United Nations Charter in 1945, and then again in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, (1948). The Beijing Platform for Action (BPA, 1995) is the most prominent of the important modifications made thus far. According to Oplatka, 2006, the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 highlighted the most important prerequisite for women's empowerment. Women in positions of authority and decision-making are essential for democratic government, and the Beijing Platform for Action highlighted it as one of twelve important areas of concern.

Females are chronically underrepresented in higher education and academic leadership in Ethiopia, notwithstanding the huge development of higher education institutions and initiatives undertaken (Asmamaw, 2017). Regardless of the fact that girls join higher education at a pace of 16.4 percent per year quicker than males, and male yearly average increase is 8.2 percent, at Ethiopian higher education institutions in 2019, 15 percent of academic staff were women and 85 percent were men. Women occupied just 15.4 percent of leadership roles in the 44 government institutions, and there was no female president (MoSHE, 2019). While some universities have employed more women, their share in leadership remains low Women made up less than 5% of deans and 3% of department heads at public institutions. Aside from that, women held just around one-third of board member roles less than one-fourth of vice president positions, and only 9.6% of senior management positions (Habtamu, 2004). This means that women make up lowest share of academic personnel in higher education.

This demonstrates that the national educational objective of filling 20% of senior academic posts (university presidents and vice presidents) by 2015 was not met (ESDP IV, 2010-15). And, Ethiopia's female academic personnel and leaders are still insufficient in comparison to the country's population.

Statement of the Problem

According to statistics, women account for half of the world's population. This rationale should have allowed them to have a large proportion in various leadership levels, allowing them to play a substantial part in a country's economic, social, cultural, and political growth. In most situations, though, the truth is quite different. They are underrepresented in a large number of status updates (Abebayehu, 1995). Women's underrepresentation in leadership and decision- making positions is a global phenomenon. However, there is a clear gap between established and developing regions when it comes to women's educational opportunities. Women account for less than 10% of managers and 3% of business directors in most nations where feminism had the greatest influence, and this issue has drawn the attention of international organizations (Onsong, 2004).

Numerous barriers have been found that impede women from ascending to top leadership roles. Sluder, (2007) considers sociocultural ideas to be the most significant impediment in this respect. These views highlight men's supremacy and women's humiliation. Additional obstacle is the institutional structure that governs gender-based labor division, recruiting, and upward mobility. Spero,(1987) observes that because males control public decision-making bodies, these decision- making bodies mirror masculine ideals. Women's participation in leadership position in general is still low, as we saw in the past.

Women have made considerable headway in Ethiopia in terms of reaching parity in teaching, but they remain vastly under-represented in higher education leadership position (MoE 2014). The presence of a large number of women in managerial positions in Ethiopia would help to improve efforts to promote girls' and women's education. Women must be represented in senior university administration roles in order to speak out about the issues and initiatives that affect women.

Women are one of the most important players in higher education, and they must be empowered in order to make decisions. Women will have the capacity to influence policies and bring about change that will benefit both women and men when they have the skills necessary for decision- making, are widely represented in higher education administration, and are gender sensitive. Women have historically been underrepresented in leadership roles in Ethiopia, particularly in higher education institutions, and little is known about their experiences and problems. Despite the presence of official regulations to address these inequities, such as Ethiopia's "gender policy" and "equal employment opportunity," women remain underrepresented (Asmamaw, 2017). The University system's policy-making bodies appear to be mainly dominated by men. This sparked an interest in learning more about the primary hurdles that women face in higher education leadership roles, as well as how the few women who have succeeded in achieving these positions did so, and what their experiences and struggles were. As a result, the experiences and problems these women confront in leadership roles may be unique to women and so warrant further study. As a result, the primary goal of this research is to evaluate the constraints and possibilities for women in leadership position and decision-making roles at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

As a result, the following basic questions were addressed in this study:

1. What are the challenges hindering women in leadership positions at Addis Ababa university?

1.1. What are the social barriers that affect women’s participation in leadership positions at Addis Ababa University?

1.2. How do respondents view the personal characteristics that Affect Women’s participation in leadership Positions at Addis Ababa University?

1.3. What are the institutional barriers that affect women’s participation in leadership Positions at Addis Ababa University?

2. What are the opportunities do women have leadership positions at Addis Ababa University?.

Objectives of the Study

General Objective

The study's main goal is to evaluate the obstacles and possibilities faced by women working in leadership positions at Addis Ababa University.

Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the study are:

a. To find out the key obstacles that women face in obtaining leadership positions at Addis Ababa University.

b. To look into the possibilities for increasing women's involvement in leadership positions at Addis Ababa University.

Significance of the Study

The goal of the study was to analyze the problems and possibilities that women face in the leadership position at Addis Ababa University. As a result, the researcher feels that the study's findings may have the following implications:

It will raise awareness among all levels of organizations and their stakeholders about the obstacles that women in leadership position confront and the possibilities that are accessible to them.

It may encourage the relevant bodies to pay more attention to women's participation in decision-making positions at Addis Ababa University.

It may eventually result in a higher proportion of women working in leadership positions at Addis Ababa University.

It will serve as a starting point for those researchers who wish to pursue this issue
further.

Scope of the Study

The goal of this study is to determine the obstacles and possibilities that women face when working leadership position at Addis Ababa University. As a result, it evaluates the status of women in executive roles, group leaders, administrators, and vice administrators. It also seeks to highlight the special obstacles that women have in leadership, as well as the potential that women have in the study field.

Definition of Terms

Challenge: Refers to the barriers that may prohibit women from advancing to higher levels of leadership and management in the business world (Strohs, 2008).

Participation: In this study, the term "participation" refers to giving women an equal chance to participate in the leadership and decision-making of various organizations. It entails women's quantitative and qualitative engagement.

Opportunities: This word refers to methods and strategies for increasing women's quantitative and qualitative involvement in leadership positions.

Review of Related Literature

Women and Leadership Position

In the workplace, women have traditionally been denied equal opportunities in terms of education, training, hiring, promotion, and networking. Despite the fact that women are working in greater numbers across the world, various official and non-government surveys, as well as scholarly studies, demonstrate that women are underrepresented in top-level jobs. This phenomenon is known as the "glass ceiling," which refers to "a lower than expected number of females achieving leadership roles at the top levels in companies" (Hogue & Lord, 2007). To recognize the "glass ceiling" is not to deny that substantial progress has been made in terms of women's social position. Women now have greater personal, political, and economic influence than they had previously. In addition, more women are advancing to positions of leadership at all levels, including upper management positions. Women, on the other hand, continue to be fundamentally inferior to many males. One of the indications is women's underrepresentation in high-level leadership roles across a variety of socioeconomic sectors. Women not only hold fewer high-level leadership roles, but they also earn substantially less money and have less authoritative influence even when they do. Males and women with equal education start off with identical salaries, but after 10 years, men make at least 20% more than women. Women have a harder time ascending the corporate ladder (Sluder, 2007).

Female Leadership in Higher Education

Despite the fact that the number of female academic leaders is growing, they are still uncommon (Lie and Malik, 2014). (Fritsch, 2016). Women's overrepresentation in the teaching population and underrepresentation in educational leadership roles have continued to draw scholarly attention in the expanding literature on women and educational leadership. (Grogan & Shakeshaft 2009). The goal of much of this writing is to remind us of the ever-present hurdles that women face when it comes to leadership in education. The growing body of knowledge about educational leadership and women in global contexts demonstrates the importance of political, historical, social, and economic circumstances in women's leadership. Higher education leadership has traditionally been organized in hierarchical systems that have been supported by social formations of bureaucracies informed by liberal political ideas based on individual merit (BlackChen, 2015). These arrangements have typically favored male academics in top educational leadership roles, such as Faculty and Academic Deans, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Departmental Chairpersons, and positions chairing university-wide committees (Shepherd, 2017).

Women in leadership roles do not necessarily have an easy professional path (Eagly and Carli, 2007), and in some situations, they are referred to be "university donkeys" (Mabokela, 2003). Gender disputes in the past have centered on the numerical statistics of women's presence in official leadership posts and the disparities in promotion rates between male and female academics. However, leadership is situational and contextual (Strachan et al. 2010). (Fitzgerald 2006). Some say that more research is needed on how women as a group perceive what helps or hinders their access to leadership roles (Alimo-Metcalfe, 2010).

Much of the research is Western-centric and it is informed by a mainstream epistemology about women in educational leadership roles that has been constructed, classified, and theorized from a white hegemonic perspective (Oplatka, 2006). Fitzgerald (2006) asserts that Western values and leadership practices homogenize, marginalize, and silence women educational leaders from developing countries, and that Indigenous and non-western theories of educational leadership, based on research, are needed to account for and explain Indigenous women's ways of knowing and leading.

Additionally, previous research has revealed why women are seen to be underrepresented in higher education leadership posts (Morley, 2013a). Gendered division of labor, gender prejudice and misrecognition, management and masculinity, selfish companies, and work/life balance difficulties, according to Morley (2013a) The first refers to academia as a zone where people are free of all obligations save those that are related to employment (Lynch, 2010; Morley, 2013a). Women, on the other hand, frequently blur the lines between job and family as primary caregivers for children, the sick, and the old (Runte & Mills, 2004). Women are frequently consigned to “lesser” managerial jobs, such as human resources, quality assurance, and marketing, as a result of these factors, and remain in assistant and/or adjunct positions (Eagly & Carli, 2007). Despite the fact that most nations have a gender imbalance in top-level leadership in higher education (Shepherd, 2017), there are a number of initiatives and programs aimed at reducing these disparities.

Obstacles to Women's Leadership Position Participation

Women educators in both rich and poor nations face comparable hurdles to progress and have similar leadership styles and professional experiences, yet they are vastly different in many ways. Women are unable to get positions because of the cultural and social structures in which they live and work, as well as many parents' unwillingness to send their daughters to higher school. Though after overcoming so many obstacles and being appointed as school principal, they are confronted with issues from their coworkers. In Turkey, female principals reported having trouble dealing with their employees, with the most severe issue they had in their professions being the unwillingness of female instructors to work for female administrators (Sluder, 2007) (Cited by Oplatka, 2006). Women are under-represented in leadership, and several researchers have attempted to highlight the problem and provide various recommendations based on their findings. Aside from that, nations such as Ethiopia have signed several agreements and declared various policies regarding the non-discrimination of women. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is one of the most important of these because it provides for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in the political, social, economic, and cultural fields through a variety of legal and policy interventions. In terms of representation, there has been some progress in recent decades, but it still falls short of what is required and anticipated, particularly in poor nations. Despite Ethiopia's remarkable progress in recent years in promoting and developing women in the workplace, women continue to be underrepresented in higher education leadership position Onsongo, J (2004).

Ethiopian Women in Leadership Positions

Ethiopia is a patriarchal culture where women are seen as second-class citizens (Haregewoin & Emebet, 2003). There is a cultural foundation for the idea that women are docile, obedient, patient, and tolerant of tedious work and violence (Hirut, 2004). Ethiopian women, like those in many other African countries, have a poor social position. Various studies have revealed that women in underdeveloped nations in general, and Ethiopia in particular, have a low status (Almaz, 1991; Hirut, 2004). They have been denied equitable access to education, training, and meaningful work prospects, and their participation in policy development and decision-making has been negligible. Clearly, women play an important role in the community by overseeing all societal activities.

The FDRE administration has implemented numerous boosting tools to encourage equal involvement of women in every topic of the nation's decision-making positions, the most promising and binding of which is the FDRE constitution, which has ever existed in the country's history. Despite some attempts, women's involvement in leadership and decision- making positions remains low in comparison to their male counterparts. This can be seen in a variety of ways. For example, the proportion of women in the parliament, which is entitled to be the nation's highest policy-making body, though it may appear to be increasing from time to time, it is still negligible, according to information obtained from the International Parliament Union (IPU). In the 2005 national election, women accounted for 21.3 percent of the vote, while in the 2 010 national election, they accounted for 152 (27.8%) of the total 547 seats held by HPR members, compared to Rwanda (56.3 percent) and South Africa (44.5 percent).

A Male-Dominated Culture

The rules of masculine culture are identical with the traditional rules and perceptions of business and administration. The administration domain is dominated by patriarchal and hierarchical structures (Alvesson & Willmott, 2003). Women have traditionally served as spouses in men's family life domains, where males have traditionally dominated due to their capacity to generate wealth. Women's dominance in the home has spilled over into other social arenas, including the workplace, where they are not permitted to plant their feet firmly from the start. Having women in the same cohort causes discomfort and necessitates changes that many males are unwilling to undertake.

The exclusion of women from the social informal networking of males, such as golf excursions and sports activities, is another commonly highlighted concern, which is not unconnected to the comfort element. Professional contacts are frequently developed and information regarding training opportunities, job openings, critical tasks, and fellowships is regularly shared at informal social events in the business sector. Excluding oneself from these informal networking events might result in missed chances, which can be essential to one's professional progress (Kanter, 1993).

Stereotypical Judgment and Assumptions Based on Gender

According to Harding, 2004, Traditional gender-based judgments and assumptions, which have resulted in cultural and societal preconceptions about what roles are and are not suitable for women, are among the most significant and subtle hurdles women confront. Women have traditionally been thought to be less physically and psychologically suited than males to operate in the public arena of a society dominated by men.

Prejudice against female leaders stems from an inconsistency between expectations about women (feminine qualities such as compassionate, emotional, and supporting) and expectations about leaders (masculine characteristics such as being ambitious, powerful, and competitive) (Eagly & Carli , 2003a). Women who do take on leadership responsibilities must frequently battle preconceived beliefs about how their job should be done or what traits are required for leadership roles, which have been shaped by decades of male supremacy in a field. This can put women in a catch-22 situation, as Kathleen Jamieson (1995) pointed out.

In principle, women in the workplace are supposed to be competitive and harsh, but not too competitive or aggressive, lest they be labeled ball busters. Women in the business sector, on the other hand, are supposed to be feminine enough to be attractive and kind. But not excessively feminine, should their look and conduct be interpreted as improper or as a sign of weakness.

Research Design and Methodology

Design of the Study

The research design is a descriptive survey. Descriptive survey research aims to describe behaviors and collect people's perceptions, opinions, attitudes, and beliefs about a current leadership position issue. The primary approach for gathering such data or information from people was to conduct a survey. It would also attempt to assess the challenges and opportunities faced by women seeking positions in leadership positions. The number or percentage of people who reported each response was then used to summarize the descriptions. As a result, it detailed what the truth is and what is truly happening in the study area's present practices and conditions. It gives you a greater knowledge of a study topic or subject than each research method on its own. As a result, a mixed method strategy was adopted for this study as a research technique that involves gathering, analyzing, and integrating (or mixing) quantitative and qualitative research (and data) in a single study.

Data Source

Primary and secondary data were employed to achieve the study's goal. Sample respondents were recruited by selecting from the whole study population from five campuses (Sedist Kilo campus, Faculity of Business and Economics Campus, Arat Kilo Campus, Lideta Campus, Debrezeyit Veterinary School Campus) team leaders and experts who operate in selected organizational campuses, and key informants from administration positions who work at Addis Ababa university branches provided primary data. Women's affairs office reports and other recorded sources from Ministry of education administration were the primary sources for secondary data.

Sampling Design

Study Population: The sample would be chosen from the study population, which is a collection of components. As a result, the study's 100 (one hundred) participants were Addis Ababa University`s, team leaders, experts, supervisors, administrators, and vice administrators, all of whom are permanent employees at Addis Ababa university at five campuses.

Sample size: A total of 100 (one hundred) people were chosen from the general target population to participate in this study using the purposive sampling approach. The sample size was chosen because as the sample size grows, the research's dependability grows, and it can better reflect the reality of women's participation in leadership and public decision-making in Addis Ababa University.

Sampling Techniques: Simple random sampling and availability sampling procedures were used to choose sample responders from the whole population. Simple random sampling procedures were employed to reduce bias and to help generalize data obtained from sample respondents. Furthermore, availability sampling was employed as a strategy, and significant informants included women's leaders at the five branches of the university. The researcher used this strategy to include such leadership bodies in order to provide meaningful data regarding the obstacles and opportunities of women participation in leadership position and decision-making.

Method of Data Collection: The researcher combined primary and secondary data in order to complete this study. The technique of data collection utilized in this study was a descriptive survey, and the data collecting tools utilized to acquire primary data from sample respondents were a questionnaire, an interview, and document analysis.

Questionnaire: There are both closed and open-ended versions in the questionnaire. This makes it simple to get a huge amount of data from a big number of responders in a short amount of time and at a low cost. Furthermore, all of the participants were literate since they are working in the higher educational institution. As a result, people may read and react to the questionnaire more freely, expressing their thoughts on the subject, and it allows respondents to provide information without fear of reprisal.

Interview: A semi-structured interview was conducted with key informants such as faculty heads, department heads and top administrators at Addis Ababa university five different branches in order to obtain detailed information from the informants about the overall current context of the challenges and opportunities for women in leadership positions.

Document Analysis: Annual abstracts, women affairs office reports, various publications in the areas of administration, management & leadership, involvement of women in leadership positions and internet web sites were all reviewed to gather information.

Method of Data Analysis

In order to answer the core research questions and meet the study's aims, both quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods were used. As a result, the obtained data were recorded, edited, organized, analyzed, presented, and interpreted in connection to research questions for the study's implementation and effective completion. For data acquired using surveys, descriptive statistical tools such as tables, figures, percentages, and means were utilized, whereas for data obtained through interview and document analysis, descriptive statistical techniques such as description of finding were employed.

Ethical Consideration

The sort of agreement that the researcher made with his or her study participants is referred to as research ethics. All research studies had ethical implications, and all researchers must be aware of and respond to the ethical concerns relevant to their investigations. As a result, respondents were urged to participate voluntarily. Responding to interviews and completing surveys took a lot of time and effort. As a result, the researcher will inform the respondents about the study's goals and relevance before allowing them to exercise their right to voluntary participation. They were given assurances that the information they provided would be kept private. To do this, the researcher eliminated data that required respondents' names to be identified. Furthermore, an opening introduction letter was presented on the first page of the questionnaire, seeking the respondents' help in providing the essential information for the study.

Result Analysis, Presentation and Interpretation

This part examines data collected from primary and secondary sources using closed and open- ended surveys, interviews, and document analysis. The data was presented in tables, charts, and graphs, and then evaluated and interpreted in connection to the core research questions and the key study objectives previously mentioned. The information gathered was kept as the respondents' characteristics, problems that women face in leadership position, and the opportunities or techniques that Addis Ababa University is using to increase women's participation in leadership position.

To accomplish all of this, a total of 100 questionnaires were issued to respectable respondents, with 94 (98%) of them being correctly filled out and returned to the researcher, as well as interview questions asked of important informants and utilized for discussion in accordance with the goals.

Characteristic of the Respondents

Individual respondents' personal characteristics are included in this part, including sex, age, and educational qualification, service years, current position, and marital status. Tables and graphs were used to illustrate demographic data for officers (Faculity heads, department heads , and administrators) who took part in closed and open-ended surveys.

According to the characteristics of respondents by sex, 61 (65%) of the total number of respondents were male, while the remaining 33 (35%) were female, as shown in Table 1. In terms of age and years of service, 58 (61.7%) of respondents are between the ages of 21 and 30, while 49 (52.1%) are between the ages of 6 and 10. This data clearly demonstrated that the majority of total respondents had at least five years of work experience, implying that they are able to offer enough and appropriate knowledge regarding the present status and issues affecting women's involvement in leadership positions at Addis Ababa University.

Table 1 Characteristics of Respondents by Sex, Age and Service Years
No Characteristics’ Respondents
Frequency
No %
1 Sex Male 61 65
Female 33 35
Total 94 100
2 Age
(in years)
20 & below 0 0
21-30 58 61.7
31-40 26 27.7
41-50 5 5.3
    above50 3 3.2
    Total 94 100
3 Service years below 6 16 17.0
6-10 49 52.1
11-15 19 20.2
16-25 3 3.2
21-25 2 2.1
21-25 2 2.1
Total 94 100

According to the educational qualifications of respondents, there were no respondents with a certificate or less, 4 (4.25 percent) of them had a diploma, 30 (31.91%) of them had a BA/BSC, and the remaining 39 (41.48%) had an MA/MSC, 21(22.34 %) had PhD degree. Despite the fact that education is the most important factor in females' participation in leadership positions, the questionnaire and interview results show that only a few women have had the opportunity to succeed in educational leadership positions.

According to the above Table 2, the marital status of respondents is 31 (33%) and 18 (19%) married men and females, respectively, and 30 (32%) and 14 (15%) single men and females, respectively. According to the data above, more married women worked in higher education leadership positions, and marriage provides expertise in family management as well as the potential to lead.

Table 2 Marital Status of Respondents
Status Male Female
No N % N %
1 Single 30 32.00% 14 15%
2 Married 31 33.00% 18 19%
3 Divorced 0 0 0 0
  Total 61 65% 33 35%

Challenges of Women’s Participation in Leadership Positions at Addis Ababa University

According to the researchers, there are a number of barriers that prevent people in higher education leadership positions from progressing to higher-level positions. These various challenges or factors are divided into three categories. They looked at things like societal hurdles, institutional/organizational impediments, and personal traits to see if they might succeed.

Social Barriers That Affect Women’s Participation in Leadership Positions at Addis Ababa University.

Many factors, according to the researcher, can influence women's participation in leadership roles. Some of these social elements were provided to the respondents via a questionnaire, and their level of agreement is described below. When assessing rating scale answers, strongly disagree and disagree are combined as a negative answer, while strongly agree and agree are combined as a positive answer.

As shown in Table 3, 45 (47.9%) and 4 (4.3%) of respondents felt that girls and boys had progressed in gendered role socialization, respectively. In contrast, 10 (10.6 percent) and 24 (25.5 percent) of respondents said they were uncertain and disagreed with the same viewpoint, respectively. The growth of women's childhood was another social element of their involvement in leadership positions, as half of the respondents agreed, and the mean 3.07 suggested. Item two showed that 38 (38.3%) and 15 (16%) of respondents agreed and strongly agreed with the concept that women lack the capacity and abilities to be leaders, respectively. On the other hand, 14 (14.9%) and 21 (22.3%) of respondents said they were uncertain and disagreed, respectively. Because the majority of respondents agreed and the mean of the question are 3.3, it indicates that people's attitudes haven't changed, making it difficult for women to work in educational leadership position.

Table 3 Respondents’ View on Social Barriers to Women’s Participation in Leadership Positions at Addis Ababa University
No Items Frequency Rating Scale Total Mean
SD D U A SA
1 2 3 4 5
1 Girls and boys have grown in gendered role socialization. No 11 24 10 45 4 94 3.07
% 11.7 25.5 10.6 47.9 4.3 100
2 People think women lack of ability and skills to be an educational leader. No 8 21 14 38 15 94 3.3
% 8.5 22.3 14.9 38.3 16 100
3 The patriarchal and male dominated culture affects women’s participation in educational leadership. No 2 9 21 44 18 94 3.7
% 2.1 9.6 22.3 46.8 19.1 100
4 Most people still think the decision- making power remains with men. No 5 13 9 48 19 94 3.67
% 5.3 13.8 9.6 51.1 20.2 100
5 Too many work and family responsibility affects women’s participation in leadership positions at Addis Ababa University. No 4 13 8 38 31 94 3.84
% 4.3 13.8 8.5 40.4 33 100

They believe women lack the competence and skill to lead, and they are less accepting of their participation in leadership positions.

As shown in items three and four, 44 (46.8%) and 18 (19.1%) of respondents from item three agreed and strongly agreed with the idea that patriarchal and male-dominated culture affects women's participation in leadership position, respectively, whereas 21 (22.3%) and 9 (9.6%) of them responded undecided and disagreed.

Furthermore, according to linked item four, 48 (51.1%) and 19 (20.2%) of respondents agreed and strongly agreed with the premise that most people believe males retain decision- making power. On the other hand, 13 (13.8 percent) and 9 (9.6%) of them said they disagreed and were unsure, respectively.

Item five revealed that 38 (40.4 percent) and 31 (33 percent) of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that having too many job and family responsibilities hinders women's involvement in higher education leadership positions.

As seen in item one of the preceding Table 4, 34 (36.2%) and 18 (19.1%) of respondents disagreed and strongly disagreed with the idea that women are reluctant/unwilling to accept responsibility. On the other hand, 25 (26.6 percent) and 13 (13 8 percent) of respondents agreed and were unsure about the same point of view, respectively. The majority of respondents disagreed with the notion that women are hesitant or unable to embrace responsibilities. As a result, it signified that women's involvement in higher education leadership positions is not greatly influenced by their reluctance or unwillingness.

Table 4 Respondents’ View on Personal Characteristics that Affect Women’s Participation in Leadership Positions At Addis Ababa University
No Items Frequency Rating Scale Total Mean
SD D U A SA
1 2 3 4 5
1 Women are reluctant/unwilling to accept responsibility No 18 34 13 25 4 94 2.61
% 19.1 36.2 13.8 26.6 4.3 100
2 Women can make strong in decision and committed to the organization
and their career.
No 2 3 14 47 28 94 4.02
% 21 3.2 14,9 50 29.8 100
3 Women have lack of confidence to be higher education leader. No 23 33 12 19 7 94 2.51
% 24.5 35.1 12.8 20.2 7.4 100
4 Women are better higher education leader than men . No 6 11 30 30 17 94 3.44
% 6.4 11.7 31.9 31.9 18.1 100
5 Women have lack of motivation from their partner. No 7 18 20 44 5 94 3.23
% 7.4 19.1 21.3 46.8 5.3 100

Item two revealed that 47 (50 percent) and 28 (29.8 percent) of respondents agreed and strongly agreed with the view that women can make strong decisions and be devoted to the university and their careers. It found that the majority of respondents agreed, with a mean of
4.02 indicating that women can make strong decisions and are devoted to the university and their careers. This viewpoint is backed by the interview questions, which show that when women lead, they are powerful and devoted, and they have the capacity to create dictions and conduct activities better than males. According to the findings, women's dedication and decision-making ability is not a barrier to their involvement in higher education leadership positions and professional advancement.

Regarding item three, 33 (35.1 percent) and 23 (24.5 percent ) of respondents disagreed strongly agreed and with the thought that women lack confidence to be leaders respectively, whereas 12 (12.8 percent ) and 19 (20.2 percent ) of respondents were unsure and disagreed with this view.

Concerning item five, it was discovered that 44 (46.8 percent) of respondents agreed with the thought that women lack inspiration from their partners, whereas 20 (21.3 percent) and 18 (19.1 percent) of respondents were unsure and disagreed with the same notion, respectively.

Institutional Barriers that Affect Women’s Participation in leadership Positions at Addis

According to the researchers' findings in the review literature, there are several barriers
to women's involvement in higher education leadership positions. Organizational and institutional considerations are among the obstacles that prevent them from pursuing a career in higher education leadership.

As stated in item one of the above Table 5, 29 (30.9 percent ) and 12 (12.8 percent ) of the respondents disagreed and strongly disagreed with the opinion that organizations lack policies to encourage women's professional advancement. On the other hand, 23 (23.5 percent) of respondents said they were uncertain or agreed.

Table 5 Respondents View on Institutional Barriers that Affect Women’s Participation
No Items Frequency Rating Scale Total Mean
SD D U A SA
1 2 3 4 5
1 Organizations lack policies to support
women career progression.
No 12 29 23 23 7 94 2.83
% 12.8 30.9 23.5 24.5 7.4 100
2 Selection criteria for higher education leadership positions are lack of
transparency.
No 11 20 20 37 6 94 3.07
% 11.7 21.3 21.3 39.3 6.4 100
3 Male hierarchies are more likely to promote men for higher education
leadership positions than women.
No 8 16 19 39 12 94 3.33
% 8.5 17 20.2 41.5 12.8 100
4 Men are promoted faster than women. No 16 25 18 30 5 94 2.82
% 17 26.6 19.1 31.9 5.3 100
5 Lack of encouragement & support from colleagues for participation of
women in the university
No 4 21 16 43 10 94 3.36
% 4.3 22.3 17 45.7 10.6 100

It was discovered that half of the respondents did not agree with the premise that universities lacked policies to encourage women's career advancement, while the other half were opposed or neutral to the concept that higher education institution lacked rules and a support structure.

Regarding question two, 37 (39.3 percent) of respondents agreed that the lack of openness is a selection criterion for higher education leadership position. On the other hand, 20 (21.3 percent) of them said they were uncertain or disagreed. It suggested that half of the respondents agreed with the proposal, and the mean 3.07 showed that the leadership position selection criteria are opaque.

Opportunities that Enhance Women’s Participation in Leadership Position at Addis Ababa University

Experts and scholars proposed a variety of approaches that may be used to alleviate or at least mitigate the consequences of the hurdles, as well as boost women's desire to work in leadership roles. Some of these metrics were given to questionnaire respondents, and their level of agreement is reported below.

As the majority of respondents agreed and the mean 3.33 male hierarchies are more likely to promote men for leadership posts and they promoted quicker than women, it is a problem for women's involvement owing to males' negative impression of female leaders. The majority of governmental and nonprofit organizations and institutions have a problem with unfavorable views about women leaders and a lack of trust in women leadership; as a result, every organization has a problem allocating leadership positions.

Item 5 revealed that 43 (45.7 percent) and 10 (10.6 percent) of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that there is a lack of encouragement and support for women's engagement from colleagues in the university. On the other hand, 21 (22.3%) and 16 (17%) of respondents said they disagreed and were uncertain, respectively. The majority of respondents agreed on all of the issues, and the mean of 3.36 demonstrated that lack of encouragement and support from colleagues for women's engagement in the university is one of the obstacles women face, and it has an impact on their desire to work in leadership position.

Table 5 shows that 50 (53.2 percent) and 12 (12.8 percent) of respondents agreed and strongly agreed with the idea that the university recruitment guide line had special treatment for women applicants during the selection process, while 14 (14.9 percent) and 9 (9.6 percent) of respondents disagreed, strongly disagreed, and were undecided about the same idea.

It was shown that the university guideline preferential treatment for women applicants during selection time is one option that promotes their involvement in higher education leadership positions, as the majority of respondents agreed and the mean 3.45 stated.

In response to item two in Table 6, 45 (47.9%) and 14 (14.9%) of respondents agreed that the education office should provide capacity building/training to encourage women to pursue positions in higher education leadership. On the other hand, 22 (23 percent) and 7 (7.4%) of them said they disagree and are uncertain about the same issue, respectively.

Table 6 Respondents’ View on Strategies that can be Used to Enhance to Women’s Participation Leadership Positions in Addis Ababa University
No Items Frequency Rating Scale Total Mean
SD D U A SA
1 2 3 4 5
1 The university recruitment guide lines had special treatment for women applicants during selection time. No 9 14 9 50 12 94 3.45
% 9.6 14.9 9.6 53.2 12.8 100
2 The education office provides capacity building/ training to promote for women’s participation in
leadership positions.
No 6 22 7 45 14 94 3.41
% 6.4 23.4 7.4 47.9 14.9 100
3 The university involves women representatives in the committee for the recruitment, training &
development of individual.
No 1 14 16 51 12 94 3.63
% 1.1 14.9 17.0 54.3 12.8 100
4 Giving a chance of separate quota to compute among for women themselves and with male
competitors.
No 10 15 19 44 6 94 3.22
% 10.6 16.0 20.2 46.8 6.4 100
5 Women have experienced on family on the management and it gives a better chance in higher education
leadership roles than men.
No 6 12 18 38 20 94 3.57
% 6.4 12.8 19.1 40.4 21.3 100

Item three revealed that 51 (54.3%) and 12 (12.8%) of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that Addis Ababa University should include women members in committees for recruitment, training, and development of individuals. On the other hand, 16 (17%) and 14 (14%), respectively, of the respondents said they were uncertain and disagreed with the same viewpoint. The presence of women representatives in the committee during recruitment, training, and development of persons provides a chance for women to improve their participation in leadership positions, as the majority of respondents agreed and the mean 3.65 indicated.

Concerning item four, 44 (46.8%) and 6 (6.4%) of respondents agreed with the notion of separate quotas to compute among women themselves and male competitors, respectively, whereas 19 (20.2%), 15 (16%), and 10 (10.6%) of them responded unsure, disagree, and strongly disagree with the same notion.

Concerning question five, 38 (40.4%) and 20 (21.3%) of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that women have more experience with family management and have more opportunities for higher education leadership jobs than males. On the other side, 18 (19.1%) and 12 (12.8%) of them said they were uncertain and disagreed with the same viewpoint, respectively. This suggested that the majority of respondents thought that women's expertise with family management provides them with a greater opportunity for leadership tasks than males. As a result, this is another chance to increase women's participation in higher education leadership roles.

Discussion

This section contains a summary of the findings, as well as a conclusion.

Summary of the Findings

The study's strategic goal was to evaluate women's difficulties and potential in leadershippositions at Addis Ababa University five campuses.

The research summary and conclusions were based on the following fundamental questions.

1. What are the challenges hindering women in leadership positions at Addis Ababa university?

1.1. What are the social barriers that affect women’s participation in leadership positions at Addis Ababa University?

1.2. How do respondents view the personal characteristics that Affect Women’s participation in leadership Positions at Addis Ababa University?

1.3. What are the institutional (organizational) barriers that affect women’s participation in leadership Positions at Addis Ababa University?

2. What are the opportunities do women have leadership positions at Addis Ababa University?

A descriptive survey was used, incorporating both a quantitative and qualitative approach. Purposive sampling procedures were used to pick 104 samples from 10 higher education leadership officials and executives. Respected respondents were given 104 questionnaires, and 98 percent of them were filled out and returned correctly.

The data gathered through surveys from primary and secondary sources was presented in tables, figures, and charts, then evaluated using descriptive statistics such as percentage, frequency, and mean, and quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated in connection to the study objectives.

Respondents' characteristics were characterized in terms of sex, service years, ages, educational attainment, and marital status. According to the data, 68 percent of respondents were males and 32 percent were females, indicating that women's participation is low.

Women's current standing is still low, with 72.4% of respondents agreeing that women are underrepresented in higher education leadership positions. Only 25% of females participated in the poll in the chosen location, according to the results. According to the majority of respondents (75.5%), even if there are a large number of female employees in higher educational professions, women's participation in leadership positions is limited when compared to leadership positions engaged by men. At the same time, their participation is usually restricted to the middle, and they are seldom seen in higher positions. According to 81 percent of respondents, women's participation in higher education leadership positions is rising with time when compared to the past, although it is still low when compared to males today.

Females' childhood development was a social factor in their participation in leadership positions, as 52 percent of respondents agreed and the interview supported that females' development process was not free of demoralizing situations and that they did not use selective motivational words to motivate them. As a result, their engagement in higher education leadership position is influenced by their childhood development. The patriarchal and male- dominated society is a fundamental role in women's involvement, according to the majority of respondents (70 percent), and most people still believe males have decision-making authority. Furthermore, many people believe that women lack the competence and talent to lead, and therefore are less accepting of their participation in higher education leadership roles.

The majority of respondents (85%) agreed that women are more responsible for home and family issues than their male counterparts, and that having too many work and family responsibilities, as well as a lack of support from their families or spouses, are the major barriers to their participation in higher education leadership positions.

The majority of respondents (77.6%) agreed that societal attitudes influence women's desire to work in higher education leadership position. This is due to a lack of encouragement and support from family and coworkers; societal attitudes toward women leaders, which believe that women lack confidence and ability to lead; a lack of community respect; a lack of income to teach themselves; biological and religious factors, as well as sexual harassment, are some of the challenges that limit women's interest in higher education leadership positions.

Concerning the idea that organizations lack policies to support women's career advancement, half of the respondents disagreed, while the other halves were opposed and neutral. However, the organizations/institutions interviewed lacked policies and support systems, and they did not provide a good work environment to empower and make fertile for women higher education leadership positions.

As many as 66 percent of them felt that men's unfavorable attitudes of women was preventing them from pursuing careers in leadership. Men are more likely to be promoted to executive positions in male hierarchies, and they are promoted quicker than women; hence, women's involvement is a difficulty.

The majority of respondents (56.5 percent) agreed that a lack of professional networking system, a lack of role models in higher education institutions, a lack of mentors, and a lack of support from colleagues in the organization are additional challenges that affect women's motivation to pursue positions in higher education institutions like Addis Ababa University. Similarly, 61.7 percent of respondents believed that institutional and organizational culture, as well as a lack of encouragement and support in the workplace, have an impact on women's involvement in leadership roles. The open-ended question response that the organizations need a framework to inspire women leaders supports this view.

According to the data, 80 percent of respondents felt that women are strong decision- makers and dedicated to their universities and careers. According to the findings, women's dedication and decision-making skills is barely a barrier to their involvement in higher education leadership jobs and their career advancement, and women's unwillingness to participate in higher education leadership roles is not a significant factor.

Conclusions

This study looked at the barriers to participation that women encounter, as well as the possibilities that encourage them to pursue careers in higher education leadership. The conclusions were successful based on the findings. Women's participation in higher education leadership roles is still at an all-time low. Women's decreased involvement is due to a variety of factors. Some of the barriers to women's involvement in leadership roles include social factors, organizational/institutional factors, and personal qualities, which are classified as social factors, organizational/institutional factors, and personal characteristics. Women's engagement is influenced by a variety of societal variables. An influential aspect is the early growth process, which was not free of depressing experiences and did not employ selective motivational phrases. Another element influencing their involvement is patriarchal and male-dominated culture: because most people believe that males have more decision-making authority and that women lack the capacity and talent to lead, women's acceptability in higher education leadership roles is lower.

Furthermore, women are more responsible for home and family concerns than males, and too much work and family conflict, as well as a lack of support from their families or husbands, are the biggest obstacles to their involvement in higher education leadership jobs. At the same time, society's attitude has an impact on women's desire to work in university leadership. This is due to a lack of encouragement and support from family and coworkers; society's attitude toward women leaders, which they believe is related to a lack of confidence and competence to lead; a lack of community respect; and a lack of funds to educate themselves, the hurdles that restrict women's interest in leadership roles are biological and religious reasons, as well as sexual harassment.

Organizational issues such as males’ unfavorable perceptions of women influence women’s engagement in leadership. This meant that males in the male hierarchy were more likely to be promoted to leadership positions, and that they were promoted quicker than women. As a result, most universities struggle to allocate leadership, and lack of transparency is a selection factor for higher education leadership roles. Similarly, there is a dearth of a professional networking structure and a role model in business; women's aspirations to work in higher education leadership roles are further hampered by a lack of mentors and a supportive environment from colleagues. It may be concluded that institutions/universities lack real encouragement and support, as well as a framework to motivate women leaders, and as a result, their involvement is hampered by this culture.

Personal traits of women who are reluctant or hesitant to assume responsibility have little bearing on their involvement, but the disadvantage of women leaders is that they lack the strength to defend themselves and have less acceptances of society. Women, on the other hand, are capable of making strong decisions and being devoted to the company and their professional growth, as well as having the confidence and competence to lead and participate in higher education leadership position. As a result, it was claimed that this is a contributing component that is being exploited as a chance for their involvement in university leadership post.

Some opportunities or tactics for increasing women's involvement in higher education leadership positions were mentioned. Rather than prioritizing women's engagement, the only way to increase their engagement is to provide capacity development, raise awareness, and provide long and short-term training. Role model families, expertise with family management, assigning a representative during recruitment and selection for training and development of persons, and women's leadership styles are all examples of possibilities that might help them participate more fully.

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