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School Leadership and Gender in Africa: A Systematic Overview

Bush, Tony; Kirezi, Jocelyne; Ashford, Richard; Glover, Derek

School Leadership and Gender in Africa: A Systematic Overview Thumbnail


Jocelyne Kirezi

Richard Ashford

Derek Glover


The purpose of this article is to report the findings of a systematic review of school leadership and gender in Africa, and to identify gaps in the literature, to prompt and encourage further research. The literature search focused based on school leadership and gender, linked to all 54 African countries. The review focused on articles in non-predatory journals, plus university theses.

The review provides a compelling picture of school leadership and gender in Africa, with three main findings. First, there is limited knowledge production on this important topic, with no sources identified in most African countries. Second, organisational, social and personal factors combine to inhibit women's accession to school leadership. Third, African women principals are shown to be more collegial and collaborative than men, with some evidence that they may be more effective school leaders.

The article’s conclusion draws out three main implications. First, the findings indicate a strong need for ministries of education to review their recruitment and selection policies to address barriers to women's accession as school principals. Second, they show deeply embedded social attitudes that women should be focused on domestic and family responsibilities, rather than school leadership. This calls for community education programmes to address family and social attitudes. Third, while the article presents a significant picture of the extent and nature of women principals' leadership accession and enactment across the continent, further research is recommended to address knowledge gaps, especially in those African countries where there is no knowledge production on school leadership and gender.


Bush, T., Kirezi, J., Ashford, R., & Glover, D. (2022). School Leadership and Gender in Africa: A Systematic Overview. Research in Educational Administration and Leadership, 7(4), 680-712.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 20, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2022
Publication Date Dec 22, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 26, 2022
Journal Research in Educational Administration and Leadership
Electronic ISSN 2564-7261
Publisher Egitim Yoneticileri ve Egitim Denetcileri Dernegi
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 4
Pages 680-712
Keywords Education
Public URL
Publisher URL


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