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Experiences of female principals as primary school leaders in Lesotho.

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In Lesotho, as in any other country, women face many challenges stemming from the difficulty of simultaneously transcending and accommodating to gender stereotypes, prejudices and cultural beliefs perpetuating women submissiveness. Although, the government of Lesotho has made attempts through the implementation of policy documents of gender equity, the challenges and barriers that women experience in educational leadership and management positions are still prevalent today. The study aims to explore the experiences of female principals who are already in educational leadership positions. The study adopted the qualitative approach which based on an interpretive paradigm. The qualitative methods of data production were used to get a deeper understanding of the female principals’ experiences. Individual semi-structured interviews, with open-ended questions were used to collect data. Field notes were also used to capture the cues which the tape recorder could not show or in case the tape malfunctions. The study employed the contribution of feminist theories as a guide to the study in order to liberate women from practices and structures that perpetuate their unequal status. The purposive sampling was used for selection of the participants and the sites. Five primary school female principals and four deputy principals were selected in the Leribe district of Lesotho. Responses of female principals and their deputies were based on three key questions: What are the female principals’ experiences as school leaders when they assume the leadership positions in Lesotho primary schools? How do female principals’ experiences affect their leadership roles? How do female principals deal with the challenges and experiences as they carry out their responsibilities? Data was subjected to content analysis. The findings reveal that organizational factors and teachers’ negative attitudes towards female primary school leaders are some of the factors that hold up the effective school administration. The findings also reveal that women principals in primary schools are competent and do possess the necessary skills to manage the schools effectively. Furthermore, with the necessary support of leadership and management styles they use, women can become successful in transform schools into institution of learning.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Edgewood, 2011.


Women school principals--Lesotho., Education, Primary--Lesotho., Theses--Education.