Staring from lower grades, there is lower girl participation in education. Cultural norms favor boys being assertive rather then girls. Girls from a younger age are discouraged from speaking in the presence of elders, men and the company of others. In fact, when it comes to assertiveness for women it is seen as aggression. This is, in part, because of another powerful stereotype, women are more emotional than men and hence can’t express their ideas properly. In addition to these, women are culturally encouraged to get married earlier than their men counterpart and immediately bear children. Their life career path has already been culturally determined.
Hence, female participation in campus activities and learning is quite low. Female students tend to be quieter and less assertive when it comes to pursuing better career option. If they are encouraged to pursue a career it is mostly associated with a care-giving position, like nurses, secretary and the like. Lack of leadership is another problem as well, a recent study that researched female participation in Ethiopian higher education institutions management revealed that women hold less than 1% percent of top academic and administrative posts.
Women are better represented in lower level position and their participation relative to men decreases at successively higher levels. Representation in the committee system follows a similar pattern with women more likely to be members of departmental and faculty committees than on governing boards or councils. A consequence of this pattern of decreasing representation at successively higher levels is that the system isolate itself from women’s issues as well as a lack of role models for young female students.
These can also be further evidenced by female graduate student’s participation in job betterment initiatives, in the recent Dereja.com career fair held across the country female participation was minute. So important questions to ask here is, why have women been forced out of the lime-light? And what are the consequences for this gap on the overall education and employment world?