Issues and Challenges of Southeastern Nigerian Women in Educational Management in the 21st Century (Published)
Women in Africa generally and in Nigeria particularly, appear to be on the move in the new millennium. There is credible indication that Nigerian women have increased opportunities at work. This has resulted to the actual increase in the number of women in the academe particularly in management positions. Despite these evidences there are indications that women are not as effective as they should be. This is probably due to issues and challenges that define the process of advancement and effectiveness for women. The purpose of this study is to identify the challenges faced by these women in managerial positions of public universities and strategies for ensuring increased management effectiveness in the 21st century academe. Two research questions were formulated for the study. A 15 item questionnaire titled Women in Education Management Questionnaire (WEMQ) supplemented with oral interview sessions provided the data for the study. The study involved 180 randomly selected women of high caliber in academic and non-academics of two universities in southeast Nigeria. The data collected were analysed using percentage (mean) and standard deviation. The instrument was face validated by 2 experts from the sampled universities. The reliability coefficient of the instrument was established by using Cronbach Alpha and the reliability of 0.85 was established. The findings of the study showed that major challenges of women in educational management include long working hours, dealing with different natures of sub-ordinates and lack of authorization. Based on these findings, recommendations were also proffered to decision makers in order to alleviate those challenges such as the limitation of female long working hours by decentralization and better distribution of work load. Training programs in management and communication skills would help women in education, manage and communicate with other staff better. Authorization should be given to female managers to exercise their abilities in decisions making for their units and departments.