Gender & Higher Education Leadership

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Gender & Higher
Education Leadership
An Action Research Study at a University in
Pakistan
Tehmina Khwaja
Topic Statement
O This study explores the participation of
women in higher education leadership in
Pakistan to find out why there are so few
women in leadership positions. The purpose
of the study is to understand what factors
hinder women’s participation in leadership
and how to improve the situation.
Sociological and Theoretical
Framework
O The economic, social, and cultural capital
theory of Pierre Bourdieu, and
O Conflict theory attributed to Karl Marx
(Sadovnik, 2011)
Literature
O Conservative society with deep gender
inequalities (Ali & Knox, 2008; Ali et al.,
2011)
O Family background, economic and cultural
capital important factors (Bashiruddin,
2007; Rashid, 2010)
O Unequal distribution of household and
childcare responsibilities hinder women’s
advancement (Madhani, 2007; Rerieya,
2007)
Key Findings
O Women face cultural barriers in a male
dominated society with scarce resources.
O Women who attain leadership positions do
so with familial, particularly paternal
support.
O Economic, cultural, and social capital can
overcome cultural barriers.
O Any reform initiative must include men.
Research Plans
O Mixed methods quantitative/qualitative
O Survey and interview data
O The project will be carried out at a small
private university in Islamabad, Pakistan
References
Ali, F., & Knox, A. (2008). Pakistan’s commitment to equal employment opportunity for women: A
toothless tiger? International Journal of Employment Studies, 16(1), 39-58.
Ali, T. S., Krantz, G., Gul, R., Asad, N., Johansson, E., & Mogren, I. (2011). Gender roles and their
influence on life prospects for women in urban Karachi, Pakistan: A qualitative study. Global Health
Action, 4, 7448, 1-9, doi:10.3402/gha.v4i0.7448.
Bashiruddin, A. (2007). Becoming a teacher educator: A female perspective. In R. Qureshi & J. F. A.
Rerieya (Eds.), Gender and education in Pakistan (pp. 43-59). Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University
Press.
Madhani, N. (2007). Career development in management at a Pakistani university: Is Gender a
factor? In R. Qureshi & J. F. A. Rerieya (Eds.), Gender and education in Pakistan (216-236). Karachi,
Pakistan: Oxford University Press.
Rashid, N. (2010). Women differences in seeking educational leadership and management. Journal
of Educational Research, 13(1), 207-224.
Rerieya, J. F. A. (2007). Women in leadership: Negotiating the labyrinth. In R. Qureshi & J. F. A.
Rerieya (Eds.), Gender and education in Pakistan (196-215). Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University
Press.
Sadovnik, A. (2011). Sociology of Education: a critical reader, 2nd ed. (pp. 3-21). New York:
Routledge.
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