School Leadership: The experiences of some women head teachers in Fiji


The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the challenges women head teachers encounter in advancing to school leadership. This study utilized the phenomenological approach, a branch of qualitative methodologies. Data collection methods involved semi-structured in-depth interviews and a participatory learning and appraisal workshop. This study reveals that the pervasive entrenched culture of patriarchy operates in various ways such as androcentrism, gender and sex stereotypes, sex discrimination and old boy networks at different levels of school organization, management and leadership and causes impediments to women’s advancement to school leadership. The study hopes to abate preconceived notions of women’s underrepresentation in school leadership and subsequently engender strategies to eliminate inequity. It fills the void in the available literature on women teachers and school leadership in Fiji and the Pacific region with implications for further research.

KEYWORDS: Women, school leadership, challenges, barriers, education, patriarchy, stereotypes, gender.

Jasmine Mohammed