| || || Women in education -- Fiji -- Ba Province|
| || || Women in educational leadership : the challenges faced by a selection of women head teachers in Ba, Fiji |
Author: Hussain, Husnaeen Jasmine
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Women school principals -- Fiji -- Ba Province , Women school administrators -- Fiji -- Ba Province , Women in education -- Fiji -- Ba Province
Call No.: Pac LB 2831 .926 .F5 H87 2012
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: This thesis is the first attempt to document and analyze the challenges encountered by selected women head teachers in primary schools in Fiji. It also examined gender mainstreaming as a roadmap to achieving gender equity in educational leadership. Utilizing the phenomenological approach, this study seeks to understand why women are underrepresented in primary school leadership. It is underpinned by the interpretive and feminist paradigms. At the crux of this study are five women head teachers from Ba, the Western province of Fiji. Data collection methods involved semi-structured in-depth interviews and a participatory learning and appraisal workshop. The important findings of this phenomenological study are outlined. The pervasive entrenched culture of patriarchy operates in various ways such as androcentrism, gender and sex stereotypes, sex discrimination and old boy networks at different levels of school organization, management and leadership which cause impediments to women’s advancement to school leadership. Women accord school leadership a kaleidoscope of unparalled female advantages which include the feminine communal attributes, soft skills, high emotional competence, collaborative and democratic leadership styles and a strong focus on improving instruction and learning. The absence of constructive institutional support to advance and facilitate women teachers to school leadership. Gender mainstreaming has a transformative agenda and submits an elaborate roadmap for achieving equity in educational leadership. Therefore, there is a need for a gender mainstreaming policy at the Ministry of Education. v Based on these findings, the study concludes with important implications for policy and practice and recommendations for further research which include: Large-scale phenomenological studies/feminist research on women head teachers in the country to gather deeper insights of the challenges they encounter. Comparative studies to identify the commonalities and differences in the experiences and worldviews of women educational leaders from different ethnic groups, geographical locations and leadership contexts such as the secondary schools, higher education, school management committees and education boards.