An Assessment Of The Challenges Of Women In Management Positions In Senior High Schools In The Bolgatanga Municipality, Ghana

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An Assessment Of The Challenges Of Women In Management Positions In Senior High Schools In The Bolgatanga Municipality, Ghana

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

The negative perception of women maintained by society manifests itself in many aspects of life. Women’s contributions to nation building have generally gotten less acknowledgment than their male counterparts around the world. According to Allah-Mensah (2006), women have a lot of potential because they play numerous roles in the spheres of national development. Despite efforts at the micro and macro levels by governments and other civil society organizations (CSOs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), multilateral institutions, and individuals aimed at empowering women to realize their full potential. Much work remains to be done to ensure that women contribute their fair share to the political, social, and economic advancement of their nations and communities. Similarly, Amu (2006) observed that the debate on the role of women has been going on for a long time by many different groups of people – women’s groups, governments, development partners, and civil society groups – who have all advanced many arguments to support their stand, but little has been accomplished for women’s empowerment. According to Amu (2006), individuals who oppose increased participation of women in all spheres of economic, social, and political activities base their reasoning on the assumption that women’s biological roles have naturally constrained them to the house. As a result, they must take a back seat in economic and public affairs, as well as at home. On the other hand, biology or sex have been stable over generations and since creation, and hence cannot be used to explain the status of women in society. These kinds of feminist ideologies have a tendency to marginalize women and devalue women’s work. According to Leavitt (1971), as referenced by Amu (2006), the most important indicator of a woman’s status anywhere in the world is her level of participation in economic life, as well as her control over property and the things she creates. As a result, women must not face discrimination based on their gender or biological sex. The situation is manifested in the low number of women in management positions around the world. According to Tilbrook (1998), women in top management positions are significantly underrepresented. Tilbrook (1998) referenced a UNESCO report on higher education (1993) in commenting on the global under-representation of women in managerial positions within the higher education sector, which bluntly concluded that one of the impediments women face is the fact that they are not men (Brown, M. 2008). Women in management positions in the Bolgatanga municipality have been observed to be no exception to the phenomenon of the higher you go, the less you see. When compared to other parts of the country, the number of women in management positions in educational institutions in the Bolgatanga municipality is lower. In 1995, a seminar hosted by the National Council for Women and Development (NCWD) in Bolgatanga highlighted the situation of women’s participation in leadership positions in the educational sector. The seminar’s goal was to inform women in the Upper East region about the conclusion of the Beijing summit. Related topics included women’s employment and women’s social, economic, and political problems. Significantly, the seminar revealed that, while women controlled professions such as nursing and teaching, they were not represented at the top of the leadership ladder, but rather at the bottom when compared to men. In addition, the majority of participants agreed in principle that decisions were made at the top and then handed down to the women at the bottom for implementation. The question was why there were so few women in positions of management. Did they lack the necessary managerial abilities, or were they comfortable with the position they found themselves in? Another question is whether women in the Bolgatanga municipality lack the necessary skills to become managers. Only two of the Upper East region’s nine district education directors were female in the 2009/10 academic year and one in the 2010/11 academic year. In the 2009/10 academic year, just three of the Upper East region’s 18 senior high schools were managed by a female. In the 2010/11 academic year, the figure increased slightly to six. There is hence a need to place qualified women in management positions, particularly in educational institutions, to allow them to fully participate and contribute while also displaying their God-given talents and serving as role models for females in society. It is worth emphasizing that women’s participation will not only improve their own image and development, but will also contribute to the overall development and advancement of the nation and the world. It would be a mistake to believe that no efforts have been made to increase the number of women in management positions. For example, the Ghanaian government, associations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have undertaken concerted attempts to remove the barriers that have impeded and continue to impede women’s positions in educational leadership. The Basic Education Sector Implementation Programme (BASIP) policy document, published in 1996, demonstrates the Ghana government’s attempts to improve the education of girls and women in management positions. The Regional Education Directorate, District Education offices, the National Council for Women and Development, District and Municipal Assemblies, and other associations in the Upper East Region invariably organized seminars and in-service training to raise the status of women in the region, including taking on leadership positions in educational management. Against this backdrop, the purpose of this research is to identify the barriers to women’s participation in senior high school management positions in the Bolgatanga Municipality of Ghana’s Upper East Region. The report also aims to explain the problems that women confront in their quest to join the management team. Women are generally believed to be superior at teaching in the classroom, whereas counterparts are chosen for management positions in the educational industry. As a result, the research intended to identify the challenges experienced by women participating in the management of educational institutions in order to find solutions that would allow women to fully participate in the management of schools in the municipality. This will give a foundation for important stakeholders such as political parties, the government and its institutions, and other agencies such as civil society groups to develop strategies to solve the identified challenges.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Much of the gender-related research appears to have altered in terms of the number of women in management positions. Despite the fact that studies show that organizations with the highest percentage of women on their boards or in senior management positions perform very well, much of women’s participation has yet to be observed in most areas (Marshall, 1995). Attempts to explain women’s lack of participation in educational management, both in the developed world and in Africa, particularly Ghana, reveal that women are hampered by both internal and external constraints (Brown, 2008). According to Brown (2008), internal factors include socialization and sex stereotyping, whereas external factors include the way organizations are structured and the workforce’s behaviour toward women, which limits their performance because they are trapped in low-power, low-visibility, and dead-end jobs. In Africa, in particular, such challenges to women’s participation in educational management are exacerbated by cultural traditions that promote a male-dominated society.

According to the 2000 census, Ghana has a population of 18.9 million people, with women accounting for around 50.52 percent of the population. However, given that women constitute the majority of the population in Ghana, it is worth noting that their influence on decision-making is restricted in many spheres of society, since women are often on the receiving end of decisions that affect them and their families (Amu, 2006). According to Ismail and Ibrahim (2008), women have been in the labor market in most developed and developing countries for more than 20 years, yet just 5% of women in top management positions in the UK. Ismail and Ibrahim (2008) also claimed that, while there is no evidence to support the claim that women are less efficient managerial leaders than men, it is perceived that women in managerial positions may exercise power differently than men, despite the fact that women in high-level positions or power are rated as being as “masculine” as men and more “masculine” than women in low-level positions or power. Gender disparities bring a variety of perspectives to the workforce. So, if women can achieve as much as counterparts, why aren’t there as many women in positions of management as counterparts? These are questions for which we do not yet have answers. There has been no research to provide answers to these questions.

As a result, the current study intended to shed further light on these challenges by presenting some of the answers. Following the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995, the global community emphasized the necessity of women occupying positions of power and influence, not only for the sake of their perspectives and talents, but also for the sake of their human rights (UNDP 2000). Increased female involvement in decision-making must be pursued from the center rather than the fringes in all women of society.

Igunbor (2005) observed that over the centuries, there appears to have been an increased involvement of more people thinking about and attempting to improve the status of women around the world. Governments, non-governmental organizations, funding agencies, small groups, and certain isolated initiatives by individuals appear to have been directed toward the advancement and development of women. Women’s situations alter as human societies change due to the development of new methods of doing things. These alterations differ from society to society. Women’s roles and positions of leadership in Africa have changed dramatically. With the different challenges posed by globalization, more could be accomplished in the shortest amount of time if globalization worked for the majority of African women in today’s global village.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The primary goal of this study was to investigate the challenges to women’s participation in management positions. Furthermore, the study looked into the challenges faced by women in leadership positions at senior high schools in the Bolgatanga Municipality of Ghana’s Upper East Region. Specifically, the purpose of the study include;

  1. Identify the several challenges that women face when attempting to participate in management.
  2. Examine the challenges with the goal of determining the source of the challenges.
  3. Examine the administrative processes involved in selecting people for management positions, as well as how this process affects women.
  4. Participate the level to which women want to be in positions of management.

1.4 Research Question

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. What challenges do women face in senior high schools management positions?
  2. Do women in senior high schoolpossess the requisite level of educational attainment to qualify them to head educational institutions?
  3. Do women themselves contribute to the problem of their subordinate role in the management of educational institutions?
  4. Do women have the enthusiasm and desire to occupy management positions?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study is significant because it aims to contribute to theoretical knowledge about women’s careers and the barriers they face, as well as to provide schools in Ghana’s educational administration with the necessary insight into the challenges facing women’s participation in senior high school management, which is a critical training ground for future human resource development.

The study’s schools may help remove bottlenecks that prevent women in Bolgatanga municipality from fully participating in senior high school management positions by providing them with information that will sufficiently motivate them and other stakeholders to work toward eliminating these bottlenecks. The study’s findings may also improve women’s desire to fully participate in leadership positions, because understanding the constraints that women experience in the municipality may help policymakers and women themselves build a friendlier and more gender-sensitive work environment.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

Only female teachers with the necessary qualifications to hold management positions in the Bolgatanga Municipal Education Directorate, particularly in senior high schools, are included in the study. Essentially, the study attempted to contact the various senior high schools in the Bolgatanga municipality and determine the number of women in management positions at the various schools. Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School, Zamse Technical Senior High School, and Zuarungu Senior High School are the senior high schools in the municipality of Bolgatanga. As a result, the survey solely includes these senior high schools.

1.7 Limitations Of The Study

Women in management positions are scarce, and the information they provide is unlikely to be an accurate reflection of women’s overall experience in the field of education in the municipality. To improve women’s full participation in leadership positions in educational institutions and other organizations, it is necessary to collect as much information as possible from women from all backgrounds and with varying experiences. This would have offered more accurate data on the totality and diversity of the challenges that women face or are anticipated to face while striving to positions of leadership. This is, to some extent, a limitation of the study due to the small number of women included in it. Nonetheless, the study provides significant empirical evidence on some of the challenges women encounter in positions of leadership in the Bolgatanga municipality that is free of assumption and bias.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Refer to as a test of one’s abilities or resources in a demanding but in stimulating undertaking.

Management Position:

Refers to top and middle service management sub divided respectively, according to the hierarchical, competencies and assigned accountabilities.

An Assessment Of The Challenges Of Women In Management Positions In Senior High Schools In The Bolgatanga Municipality, Ghana

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