Women’s educational leadership experiences: career advancement in the Lubombo region of Eswatini





Female principals, leadership , high schools, career advancement


Women's progress in leadership roles within the field of education has made limited headway despite the efforts of government institutions and progressive policies aimed at addressing diversity and equity practices. This study seeks to investigate the experiences of women in leadership within the Department of Education in Lubombo Region of Eswatini. Adopting a qualitative approach, this study employs an interpretive paradigm and a phenomenological design to delve into the lived experiences of female leaders and their interpretation of these experiences. Twelve female principals from 12 high schools were purposefully selected to participate in this study. Semi-structured interviews, conducted with audio recordings, were used to guide the data generation process. The collected data were systematically transcribed, coded, and analysed thematically. Feminist theory serves as the foundation of this study, guiding the retrospective storytelling process aimed at understanding the experiences of women in leadership. Despite the implementation of regulations and other initiatives, gender equality in Eswatini has not progressed significantly. The findings of this study reveal that deeply ingrained traditional beliefs, rooted in the customs and values of local communities, continue to strongly influence promotion decisions within the educational system. The resistance observed reflects a deeply entrenched belief that female principals have limited opportunities for upward mobility in leadership due to the societal stigma or "injustice prejudice" that permeates government institutions. This study recommends that government entities and other stakeholders embark on new leadership training programs that prioritise progressive ethos, values, and culture within the education industry.


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How to Cite

Dlamini, Y. K., Mncube, D. W., Mkhasibe, R. G., & Kutame, A. P. (2024). Women’s educational leadership experiences: career advancement in the Lubombo region of Eswatini. Interdisciplinary Journal of Education Research, 6, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.38140/ijer-2024.vol6.09