Gender Bias in the Headship of Educational Institutions within the Tamale Metropolis

Segkulu L.


A descriptive survey was conducted in 2013/2014 academic year to assess gender disparity in the Headship of educational institutions within the Tamale Metropolis. The purpose of the study was to examine the factors responsible for the gender disparity against women in the headship of educational institutions within the metropolis. The target population for the study comprised all female teachers, female school heads and female educational administrators in the Metropolis. The sample size for the study was made up of 200 teachers and 50 administrators from Basic, Senior High Schools and Colleges of Education within the Metropolis. In order to give a true representation of views of both sexes, there was a purposive sampling of schools to obtain a representative sample of institutions headed by males and females. Information was obtained through the administration of questionnaires on factors responsible for the gender disparity against women in the headship of educational institutions within the Metropolis. The Likert scale format was used for most of the questions. A few close-ended and open-ended items were also used. The research revealed that males out-numbered females in terms of high academic and professional qualifications. More men had at least first degrees than females and hence better academic and professional qualifications than their female counterparts. Thus, men stand the chance of occupying headship positions more than women. This poses a challenge to women in competition for leadership in the educational institutions within the Tamale Metropolis. Additionally, the cultural and traditional milieu of the people has adversely influenced the perception of teachers and educational administrators regarding the appointment of female heads within the metropolis. In the view of the respondents, top management positions are for men only; women may thus occupy supportive positions in society. The survey therefore recommends that gender awareness in curriculum development and Material Production Units should be created through the mass media. This type of awareness is necessary to project the image of women in educational textbooks and not always men, which has the tendency of psychologically preparing women for only subordinate positions. This awareness, if created, could enable the curriculum developers and Material Production Units to develop gender neutral learning materials.

Keywords: Gender disparity, Headship, Educational administrators, enhanced gender equity, awareness.

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