A Study on the Effectiveness of Female Affirmative Action Program at Jimma University-Education Faculty,

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Addis Ababa University


Education is perhaps the single essential measure to ensure sustainable economic development, democratic participation and peace building. Higher education specifically has a great potential in the country's over all development since it is the level at which candidates gain society based knowledge and develop skills and attitudes to shape the coming generation. However, gender inequality has been among the major overwhelmingly prevailing problems at tertiary education. In cognizant of this prevalent gender gap, the Ethiopian government education policy (1994) affirmed the commitment of the government to establish an education s y s tem that facilitates and encourages the equal participation of both boys and girls. Thus, to this end, the Ministry of Education put the affirmative action policy, which allows girls to be admitted in higher education institutions with a lower GPA by 0 .2 than their male counter parts. Besides, higher education institutions are mandated to design affirmative action strategies with in the framework of the policy to ameliorate campus based impediments. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to see the effectiveness of the program at Jimma University- Education faculty .. Accordingly, descriptive survey method was used. To collect reliable data, questionnaire, interview and document p.nalysis were employed as instruments., Various sets of questions were prepared for 190 female students and 70 ins tructors. Two experts from gender office were also participated in the research by providing information through interview. The result revealed that though an improvement has been under way the program was not effective as intended. Primarily, female students didn't get sufficient orientation regarding the importance of the program. In addition, the numbers of female students and f emale instructors who have been supposed to be role models were few. Moreo ver, the attitude of female students towards the program and themselves negatively affected the success of the program. Other academic and non-academic problems such as poor academic p erformance at lower levels, economic cons traints and socia cultural factors exacerbate the situation at the faculty and became beyond the capacity of the program. As a result, female students' participation at the faculty remained below the males. Finally, the study suggested that to promote gender equity in education, a concerted effort should be made by all stakeholders at the faculty in collaboration with other support providers .



Effectiveness of Female Affirmative Action Program