International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064


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Research Paper | Arts and Humanities | Tanzania | Volume 6 Issue 5, May 2017 | Rating: 7.2 / 10


Challenges in the Participation of Professional Women in Leadership: A Case Study of the East African Community

Hellen Twegye Tumanye Shwanda


Abstract: Though there are so many educated and professional women in East Africa, their participation in senior leadership positions has been and continues to be below expectations. There is no doubt that women constitute a major portion of the working force in various sectors of the economy, hence the need for their mainstreaming in senior leadership. The East African Community is a creation of the five countries of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. Though the Community was created almost a decade ago, there are very few women in senior leadership positions. The purpose of the study was to identify and assess key challenges that women face in leadership within the East African Community. The study adopted a case study research design covering a stratified random sample of 30 respondents comprising both female and male staff within the Community based in Arusha, Tanzania. The study was purely qualitative in nature and data was collected through key informant interviews. The collected data was analyzed through content analysis through creation of appropriate themes as guided by the research objectives. The findings show that there is a big gender gap between men and professional staff in leadership positions at the Community, with majority women being in middle level positions categorized as general staff. It is evident that more men than women aspire or are given preference in senior leaders. Based on the study findings, there is need for affirmative action on developing women leadership within the Community. Community policy makers should focus on the women midlevel managers for development and growth into higher positions in leadership. Further, special opportunities should be created that can encourage them to accelerate their professional growth to the top. Lastly, as part of the affirmative action the Community should stress in its job advertisements for women to apply for professional leadership positions.


Keywords: Affirmative action, East African Community, Leadership, Participation, Professional women


Edition: Volume 6 Issue 5, May 2017,


Pages: 1790 - 1793


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