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

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 25 Issue: 1

Gender In Educational Leadership Position In Addis Ababa Citys Brivate Schools: Inclusivenes, Perceptions And Challenges

Easaw Alemayehu, Department of Educational Planning and Management, Addis Ababa University


The goal of the study was to see how the women’s themselves attitudes changed and how successful the gender policy was in promoting women's participation in educational leadership at private schools found in Addis Ababa city, Ethiopia. Kirkos and Yeka sub-city private schools served as research locations. The research includes 30 female department heads, 30 female private school administrators, 20 female private school vice principals, and 120 female private school teachers. In both sub-cities, department chiefs were included. Simple random sampling was used to identify female responders. Questionnaires were used as an instrument to gather data. The descriptive survey approach was chosen because it allows for studies that include prediction, narration of events, comparisons, and conclusions based on data collected from a somewhat representative sample of the target population. The findings of this study revealed that women continue to be underrepresented in educational leadership positions in private schools, and that attitudes and challenges such as stakeholder misperception, women's role conflict between professional and personal obligations, and women's low self-esteem remain unchanged. Also it indicated that there is a disparity in people's attitudes regarding women's private school educational leadership in terms of generating awareness in the implementation of laws, rules, and regulations. Other researchers should look at such difficulties, according to the researcher. On the basis of the results, recommendations were made such as giving women chances for training and further education


Challenges, Gender, Educational Leadership, Perceptions, and Private Schools.

Background of the Study

Women's right to participate in decision-making positions at all levels of private office is extensively documented in a variety of sources, including papers in the human rights convention on the eradication of all kinds of discrimination against women (Brunner,2000). Gender equality in decision-making is also guaranteed by Ethiopia's federal democratic republic constitution and national policy.

Women's leadership involvement is hampered by a variety of causes, including socio-cultural elements that have developed over time. Socialization is a persistent obstacle or problem that has had a significant influence on women's leadership roles. Despite the fact that women are granted the status of educational leaders, they nevertheless have greater obstacles to overcome. Women leaders aren't given the prestige or respect they deserve because of their position. Due to the influence of socialization and existing experience, their mental set and psychological composition is controlled by “gender appropriate” occupations. Women's self-limitation as a result of this indoctrination is affecting their leadership engagement in education and other professions (Coleman, 2003).

The inclusion of women in positions of leadership in education gives a gendered perspective on educational reform and allows the department to ensure social justice via gender equality at the leadership and decision-making levels. The presence of women in leadership roles in private schools fosters awareness within schools for the welfare of teenage girls, as well as providing role models of decision makers and leaders for girls beginning to contemplate career options (Aledejana, & Aledejana, 2005).

In terms of socio-cultural factors, the barriers that prevent women from participating in leadership roles are divided into two categories. Internal and exterior barriers are the two types of obstacles. Both impediments to women's leadership involvement still exist and are active (Lipham, 1964). The following are examples of how an internal barrier manifests and develops in social activities and interactions.

At-Home Socialization

The majority of individuals go about their everyday lives unaware of who they are and how they came to be who they are. What we have been taught and life experience we have had in the course of socialization and exposure to our immediate surroundings greatly impact our impression or perspective of ourselves (Coleman, 2001).

School-Based Socialization

As Emmet (2001), pointed out, domestic socialization has a significant impact on women's self- perception and attitude. Schools, whether intentionally or unintentionally, encourage feminine or masculine tendencies. This sets the “gender appropriate” division of labor, which has a long- term impact on the lives and careers of women in leadership and other fields.

External influences express themselves in the form of official and informal screening during the recruitment of leaders, which prevents women from participating in educational leadership either directly or indirectly. The parameters are set up to favor male candidates for school principalships over female candidates. Administrative and leadership experience, for example, is purposefully listed with a high credential in order to exclude women from the competition. Because males are more likely than women to satisfy all of the criteria. This is due to the fact that men are more likely than women to have the requisite credentials and administrative experience to be selected as school administrators, but women are less likely to have these credentials. Women, on average, have more professional experience than males. However, the service is given less weight in the ratings than qualifications and administrative experience.

In male-dominated industries, where discrimination of acceptable leadership was based on a male model, women engaged in educational leadership in schools or at any other level. School structures, timetables, and employment arrangements were designed with males in mind, disregarding women's simultaneous professional and domestic mother responsibilities (Fennell, 1999).

Except for personality or behavioral differences in leadership style, women and men fulfill their leadership duties equally well (Calabrese et al.,1996). Gender-related study has revealed no variation in leadership performance effectiveness between men and women (Blackmore,1989).All of the factors and restrictions that affect women's leadership involvement in education across the world may have a greater impact on women's leadership participation in Addis Ababa. By selecting two sub-cities in Addis Ababa, how much the gender policy helped to bringing attitudinal change and encouraging women to educational leadership in private schools.

Statement of the Problem

Women are participating in sectors of public life where they were previously invisible in many nations. Women are gradually but steadily ascending to positions of power in the public and business sectors, including the court, academia, and the media. In the issue of women in leadership roles in trade unions, professional groups, and atypical sectors, there was less proof. As top executives and board members of businesses, men still make the majority of decisions. Women's concerns may not be a top priority for public officials, judges, policymakers, media executives, trade union negotiators, and leaders of civil society groups( Davies, 1994).

According to Glazer, (1991) female directors are examined not just because of their gender, but also because of their leadership engagement and performance. Female school directors who handle complicated and dynamic jobs confront a variety of challenges that are exacerbated by male and other societal gender prejudice.

Women have always been oppressed in Ethiopia, with the belief that only men are capable of leading and participating in leadership. The impression of women in leadership is still quite poor as a result of this old attitude (Gardiner, & Tiggermann, 1999). Role conflict in balancing home and domestic duties with their leadership positions in schools is another issue with women's educational leadership involvement in secondary schools. The nature of the job in secondary school, as well as the time necessary to do professional work, has an impact on the time required for household activities, resulting in role conflict. One of the most dissatisfying aspects of women's positions is the high time demands of school directorship, which causes a conflict between personal and professional roles, and the dread of this issue prevents women from pursuing leadership positions.

Women's leadership involvement in Ethiopia has been a long-standing issue that will continue to be a problem until the appropriate steps are done. In Addis Ababa's private schools, we found a small number of female leaders. This issue has drew the attention of the government, non- governmental organizations (NGO), and international educational organizations (UNESCO, IICBA, FAWE, UNICEF) to identify the causes of the problem and find ways to alleviate it, as well as to capacitate or empower women to pursue careers in educational leadership.

To achieve active and successful women's educational leadership participation, all elements thought to constitute barriers to women's educational leadership participation must be examined and thoroughly investigated. According to studies, women have a superior leadership style and conduct than males. To utilize their innate potential, products and programs must nurture and develop this natural quality. “Women educate students; men govern schools” (Gorton, & Snowden, 1993).

Women now have a higher chance of participating in school leadership since education has been prioritized throughout Ethiopia. Many public and private high schools have opened, and female teachers are becoming more prevalent. However, school stakeholders feel that women are hesitant to undertake school leadership duties, that males are superior leaders in secondary schools, and that school administrators should be masculine, self-reliant, ambitious, and powerful.

Nonetheless, the government's policy on women's leadership involvement has been emphasized, and there is evidence that certain barriers to gender equity remain. As a result, this study looked into the efficiency of policy and women's attitudes about women in educational leadership in both private and public schools in Addis Ababa.

The study attempted to answer the following basic questions

1. To what extent do women participate in in educational leadership position in private schools of Addis Ababa?

2. What is the attitude of women leadership towards gender policy in improving women’s participation in educational leadership position in private schools of Addis Ababa?

3. What are the challenges that hinder the participation of women in educational leadership position in private schools of Addis Ababa?

Objectives of the Study

General Objective

To examine the stakeholders' attitudes about women in educational leadership positions at private schools in Addis Ababa, as well as the efficacy of the gender policy.

Specific Objectives

Specifically the study was attempted to:

Evaluate the position of women in educational leadership roles in Addis Ababa's private schools.

Investigate the impact of gender policy on women's attitudes in Addis Ababa's private schools.

Examine the obstacles that prevent women from holding positions of educational leadership in Addis Ababa's private schools.

Research Design and Methodology

The descriptive survey approach was utilized as the study design. It was used to conduct a comparative study of women's principal ship involvement in Addis Ababa's private schools in order to determine the impact of gender policy, attitudinal change, and obstacles on the degree of women's engagement in educational leadership.

Because of the nature of the study issue and the data obtained, the researcher chose a descriptive survey approach that can be easily evaluated and understood by an external body, allowing the estimated findings to be recognized.

The research included both qualitative and quantitative methods. It was chosen because it allows investigators to make predictions, recount occurrences, make comparisons, and draw conclusions based on data collected from a sufficiently large and representative sample of the target population. A survey research is necessary to collect thorough descriptions of existing phenomena with the goal of using the data to justify present circumstances and practices or to develop intelligent plans for changing social, economic, or academic contexts.

Source of Data

The information was gathered from private schools in Addis Ababa's Kirkos and Yeka sub- cities, female private school instructors, and principals and vice principals of each sample private school. The key rationale for choosing female teachers, principals, and vice principals as primary data sources was that they had a direct connection to the study's topic.

The Study Site and Population

Documents relevant to the research issue, such as the number of women private school principals, vice principals and female teachers were collected from sub-cities and from selected private schools to gather information regarding women's engagement in education leadership.

The Study Site

The study Site was at Kirkos and Yeka sub-city in Addis Ababa city administration. In Kirkos and Yeka sub-cities together there are 28 private schools.

The Study Population

30 female department heads, 30 female private school principals, 20 female private school vice principals, and 120 female private school teachers (totally 200 respondents) make up the research population. These were chosen using a rigorous random sampling process. Female teachers, principals, and vice principals served as data sources by filling out surveys and doing face-to-face interviews.

Data Gathering Tools

Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to collect the data needed for the study.


In order to collect data, the researcher utilized questionnaires. This is due to the fact that questionnaires are amenable to statistical data analysis with minimal raw data manipulation, help to access a large sample, place minimal demands on personnel, can avoid biases of responses due to personal experiences, and can be completely anonymous in comparison to interview and observation (Bogdan, & Biklen, 1998). The surveys included particular questions about the impact of gender policy, attitudes, and women's engagement in educational leadership in Addis Ababa.


Interviews with principals and vice principals were undertaken to obtain further information. Tape recorders were used to help with the interview process. This helps to reduce the chance of critical information being passed on (or lost).

Validity and Reliability Checks

Prior to the final delivery of the questioners to 20% of the respondents in Amigonian School, a pre-test was done (Another private school found at Gulele sub city). The pilot test was beneficial in ensuring the validity and reliability of the instruments, with the goal of determining whether or not the item included in the instrument can assist the researcher collect the necessary data. Furthermore, the objective of pilot testing is to make any required changes in order to address any ambiguous or confusing questions, and the researcher worked closely with him.

Data Analysis

Editing, categorizing, and tabulating were all used to arrange the data that had been gathered. To acquire reasonable and relevant data, the material was first reviewed and rearranged to a tolerable size and proportion. The material was then sorted and categorized before being compiled in a tabular style and examined to determine its usefulness. With the SPSS computer application, descriptive statistics were utilized to examine the collected data (Statistical Program for Social Science).

Pilot Test

The researcher chose to acquire test-retest reliability and presented the questionnaire two times to respondents in order to test the appropriateness of items and the reliability of the questions.

Item–Analysis and Test-Retest Reliability of Items for Teachers

Participants' questionnaires were tested for test-retest reliability. The questionnaire was given to 50 female instructors in Amigonian schools for the first time. The researcher chose this school since there were few teachers who taught in other similar schools. The 35teachers were given a questionnaire with 34 questions. The poll included 5 questions on background information and 29 questions about respondents' perceptions of women's primary ship involvement. The rating scales used to decide or express their viewpoint on women's main ship participation policy problem were (highly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, and severely disagree). Just one question was determined to be rejected, since nearly all respondents failed to reply (leaving the question open). As a consequence, Table 1 using the SPSS computer software, a final analysis was performed on 28 questions for teachers. As a consequence, the interviewers and questioners were assessed, and the reliability test result was statistically computed using the SPSS computer software.

Table 1 Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation
Cronbach?s Alpha Cronbach?s AlphaBasedon Standardized item No.of items
0.897 0.867 28

Data Presentation and Analysis

Characteristics of Respondents

Even if the respondent's set, educational background, experience, and other characteristics are not thought to be directly connected to the research questions, they are collected in order to provide an overall picture of the study participants. Table 2 summarizes the information obtained.

Table 2 Characteristic of Respondents
No ITEM Respondents
No Percentage
1 Sex of respondents Female 200 100%
2 Work experience 1-5 years 53 26.5%
    6-10 years 36 18%
    11-15 years 32 16%
    16-20 years 39 19.5%
    21-25 years 40 20%
    Total 200 100%
3 Educational qualification Diploma 45 22.5%
    Degree 97 48.5%
    Masters 58 29%
    Total 200 100%
4 Marital status Single 79 39.5%
    Married 76 38%
    Divorced 25 12.5%
    Widowed 20 10%
    Total 200 100%

As shown in table 2 above, 200 (100% female respondents were selected to this study. This shows that the respondents can reflect their view as per the study objectives. In the selected private schools, 53 (26.5%) of employees worked 1-15 years, 36 (18%) worked 6-10 years, 32 (16%) worked 11-15 years, 39 (19.5%) worked 16-20 years, and the remaining 40 (20%) worked 21-25 years. The aforementioned study, in general, aids in displaying the respondents' job experience dispersion. Eligibility 45 (22.5%) had diplomas from selected private schools. The majority of teachers 97 (48.5%) earn a bachelor's degree, which is very encouraging. As expected, 58 (29%) obtained a master's degree. Therefore, this analysis shows that the distribution of qualifications of respondents is in conformity with the standard, so that overall information of respondents can be obtained.

Major Findings

The purpose of this study was to investigate the participation of women in private school education in Addis Ababa. We believe that the findings on this issue provide information on where women are improving their current attitude changes compared to the challenges that remain unaffected by women. So in the study, to answer the next question.

1. To what extent do women participate in in educational leadership position in private schools of Addis Ababa?

2. What is the attitude of women leadership towards gender policy in improving women’s participation in educational leadership position in private schools of Addis Ababa?

3. What are the challenges that hinder the participation of women in educational leadership position in private schools of Addis Ababa?

We use two data collection tools, surveys and interviews, to achieve the purpose of the survey. The questionnaire was completed on a 5-point Likert scale showing the level of consent to women's participation level, attitudes towards the effectiveness of sexual policies for improving women's participation and challenges that impede private school participation.

1. Extent of Women Participation in Educational Leadership Positions in Private Schools of Addis Ababa City

The following are the results of current study about the involvement of women at this conference. At private schools, 5 male principals (90%), 1 female principal (10%), 10 male vice-principals (16%), and 2 female vice-principals (16%) work at specimen schools. Specimen Secondary School also employs 112 male teachers (85 percent) and 280 female teachers.

The data revealed that private school principal ship is dominated by men, with a slight beginning in the vice principal position. Even among female educators, the number of female educators is quite low. However, these private schools have a larger proportion of female teachers.

According to respondents' responses, there is no apparent support, a lack of a conducive atmosphere, and inadequate training, thus women's educational leadership position achievement is not fully acknowledged in private schools of these sub city. As a result, women's involvement in private school educational leadership position was impacted.

People's attitudes regarding women educational leadership position in private schools of Addis Ababa City were also modified as a result of the findings. Because the degree of agreement is virtually same and there is no substantial difference.

Finally, the SPSS analysis revealed that women's engagement in leadership has been hampered in a variety of ways, including a lack of ongoing training to improve their leadership abilities and a conducive atmosphere for women to lead in private schools.

Women's educational leadership position is also said to be hampered by encouragement and restricted engagement in both Addis Ababa municipal administration sub cities. The major goal of this study was to determine the impact of gender policy attitudes and socio-cultural variables on women's participation in educational leadership position in private schools.

2. The Attitude of Women Leadership Towards Gender Policy in Improving Women’s Participation in Educational Leadership Position in Private Schools of Addis Ababa.

In terms of women`s attitudes about gender policy in terms of increasing women's involvement, item 1 revealed that policies, proclamations, and guidelines had a significant role in empowering women in private school principalship. Furthermore, the interview in Kirkos sub city revealed that the recruiting guideline prioritizes women and that there is a particular point to encourage women to apply for the post. Government secondary schools have better attitudinal transformation than private secondary schools as a result of affirmative action.

According to the results, item 2, 54 percent of respondents agree that affirmative measures in government schools contributed to women's participation in principalship, while 46 percent disagree, indicating that affirmative measures in government schools are better than in private schools.

In terms of public opinion, the findings revealed a positive shift in public opinion toward female school principalship in private schools.

Private schools respondents think that women are capable decision-makers. This demonstrates that if a woman is given the opportunity to lead, she can do it flawlessly.

3. Challenges that may Hinder the Participation of Women in Educational Leadership Position in Private Schools of Addis Ababa.

There are a few issues that need to be addressed further when it comes to the hurdles that women encounter when it comes to private school principalship. Women's poor self-esteem, teachers' and other stakeholders' misunderstandings about accepting women as private school administrators, and women's role conflict between professional and familial duties are only a few of them.

Concluding Remark

As previously stated, the primary goal of this study was investigate the participation of women in private school education in Addis Ababa in order to determine the impact of views about gender policy and difficulties on the degree of women's participation in private school principalship.

1. The underrepresentation of women in private school principalship positions is a result of too less encouragement from training and a favorable atmosphere that has been overlooked. As a result, when the study area looked over the number of women principals in both sub-cities of private schools was 0% in Neal and only one private school women principal was 10% in Kirkos sub-cities regarding vice principal position, there was an implication that women are coming to the level position to participate; from the two sub-cities there were about three women principals. According to the study's findings, the number of female private school principals, as well as female private school teachers, is extremely low when compared to male secondary school teachers in private schools. Though this is only the beginning, several particular issues should be examined in order to increase efforts to enable women to serve as private school principals in private schools.

2. The study discovered that there is a gap in creating awareness in the implementation of policies, rules, and regulations, in people's attitudes toward women private school principalship, in receiving limited support from peers and members, and in the use of affirmative measures such as providing opportunities for training and higher education to encourage women to participate in leadership. The findings revealed that opinions about gender policy had a greater impact on women's involvement in private schools of the two sub cities. The lack of acceptability of women for principalship positions, on the other hand, has a significant impact on the amount of women's participation in principalship in private schools. As a consequence of the study's findings, it is reasonable to conclude that attitudes toward gender policy (policy papers, affirmative action done, etc.) are too less likely to enhance the amount of women's involvement in private secondary schools in Addis Ababa. Women's engagement in educational leadership continues to be a challenge.

3. But from the other hand, encounters such as teachers' and other stakeholders' reluctance to accept women in leadership positions, women's low self-esteem, women's role conflict between professional and family obligations, and social responsibilities affect private schools educational leadership positions and no discernible change was seen still now.


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