Wubante Ayalew Dessie
Abstract: Even though women represent over half of the Ethiopian population, their participation in different managerial positions of public institutions is vastly underrepresented. This under-representation of women emanated from different socio-cultural and other problems which encumber women's active involvement and successfulness. On the other hand, the full and complete development of a country, the welfare of the state, and the cause of peace require the maximum participation of women equal to that of men in all fields including managerial positions of public institutions. Accordingly, this study intends to trace challenges which are facing women's participation and tactics to be implemented for improving women's participation in managerial positions. In view of these, this study found out that patriarchy is the major challenge that affects women's participation in managerial positions of public institutions. Patriarchy as a socially constructed concept considers men as superior to women in different social, economic and political activities and practices. This biased attitude and perception limit women's interest and success in a managerial position. In addition, gender division of labor which reserves productive and community role for men and reproductive (unpaid) activities for women is another challenge that affects women's involvement in managerial positions of public institutions. Moreover, fear of public criticism, low level of self-esteem, lack of assertive skill, low level of education and experience were found to be the fundamental challenge that hinders women from holding managerial positions of public institutions. Generally, the presence of gender-biased socio-cultural set up plays a negative role on women's participation and effectiveness in managerial positions of public institutions. Hence, gender awareness training, proper implementation of affirmative action measures, diversified enabling strategies and other tactics could reverse these scenarios.
Keywords: Affirmative Action, Gender, Patriarchy, Gender Division of Labor and Assertiveness