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Critical Reflection on the Nature of Campus Female Students’ Aspiration for Leadership Positions

Justine Namaganda, Joseph Kimoga

College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University, P.O Box 7062, Kampala-Uganda,



The nature of aspiration for leadership is a necessary reflector of democracy, equality and equity is any situation. Although leadership in itself has intrinsic and extrinsic benefits to the leader and the led, there are many distractors to attaining it. Much research has been carried out in Western and Asian contexts on male dominance in leadership but less on-campus male dominance as reflected in the nature of female aspiration for leadership. This study sought to explore how the nature of campus female students’ leadership aspirations results from the dominant male presence in the context. Using an institution in developing countries and drawing on the semi-structured interviews to access female students’ voices on their leadership aspirations, the study finds and concludes that females are internally and externally disadvantaged through complexity, esteem, and strength. The study recommends institutions to formulate policies strategies and practices that promote and foster female integrated cultures; provide appropriate emotional support and mentorship, and develop a leadership framework that closes the gender numeric and financial gap.


There is a plethora of literature written by scholars in western and Asian countries which focuses a lot in general terms on male dominance in leadership, as well as male influence on females to participate in leadership. This influence is particularly traced in the family, social, cultural, and religious. This study, in particular, focuses on the male-dominant presence in higher education in developing countries. The assumption is that the dominant male presence at campus influences female students' aspiration for leadership. The significance of this research is that University Management, the office in charge of gender, and the entire staff may benefit through the awareness of the need to instill and encourage female students take up leadership positions. This will be done through encouraging and at times appointing them to assume positions that are socially believed to be in the preserve of males. The study depends on female students' voices to establish how this presence is reflected in a female's nature of aspiration for leadership.

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