Gender gaps in administrative positions: the case of educational institutions in Lusaka district, Zambia.
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The vision of the National Gender Policy (NGP) was to achieve gender equity at all levels of decision- making in the Zambian political economy. Institutions of higher learning occupy a very important role in the socio-economic development of Zambia and are critically affected by gender policy issues. The study was carried out in order to investigate the Gender gaps in Administrative positions: The case of Educational Institutions in Lusaka District, Zambia. The objectives that guided the study were to: assess the extent of gender gaps in administrative positions; identify the causes of gender gaps in administrative positions; and ascertain the effects of gender gaps in the operations of selected educational institutions. This research employed both quantitative and qualitative survey research approaches, which followed a descriptive case study design. The sample consisted of seventy-eight (78) respondents. This comprised forty-eight (48) administrative officers from six (6) educational institutions, that is eight (8) from each institution while thirty (30) respondents were sampled from non-administrative officers, that is five (5) from individual educational institutions. Purposive sampling and random sampling technique was used to sample the participants. A questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from the field. Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) versions 25.0 was used to analyse quantitative data whilst thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. The study revealed the extent to which there are gender gaps in administrative positions of educational institutions is very high because the number of male administrative officers is almost double that of females. The causes of gender gaps in administrative positions included; lack of clear policy on recruitment and affirmative action during promotion process of administrative officers, stereotyping of administrative positions, lack of confidence, limited role models, low level of education and administrative experience amongst females, and being overwhelmed with household responsibilities. The effect of gender gaps in the operations of selected educational institutions were inadequate creativity, formation of gender imbalanced policies, female employees lack role models and confidants, widened income gaps, and enhanced vulnerability amongst women. In view of these findings, it was recommended that the Zambian government through the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Gender should ensure that they enforce the laws and policies which promote gender equality and should first prioritise to award their contracts to the institutions which are slightly gender balanced so that they can be encouraged more and also encourage other institutions to become equally gender balanced.
SponsorshipThe University of Zambia
The University of Zambia