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Vol. 42 (2023): Advancing Women in Leadership Journal

Women in School Leadership: A Case of Community Secondary Schools (CSSs) in Rural Tanzania

May 28, 2020


This study intended to find out the reasons for women teachers’ under-representation in leadership positions in rural community secondary schools in Tanzania as only 18.7 % of women are heads in 2013 in the country. The first objective was to find out the barriers for women teachers to occupy leadership posts in rural community secondary schools. The second objective was to assess the techniques used by women who are in leadership positions to occupy such posts which could help other women. This is a qualitative case study which consisted of 77 participants (7 women heads, 68 teachers, 1 REO and 1 DEO). The methods of data collection were interviews (with heads of schools, REO and DEO) and focus group discussion with teachers. Data was analysed thematically. The result shows that there are few women in leadership due to lacking support from family to the society level. Furthermore, poor working environments, witchcraft and superstitious beliefs were also observed to scare female teachers away from taking leadership posts in rural areas. Inappropriate procedures for appointing heads of secondary schools also cause women to be few in leadership. This calls for serious affirmative actions like sensitization programmes on gender equality which should be embedded in the education curriculum to make children aware from low level of education about the importance of having women leaders in secondary schools. Also, teamwork is needed to unlock the hegemonic culture that dominates Tanzanian societies.