Leaders and policy makers in Uganda developed a national strategy of placing female administrators in traditionally male-dominated coeducational secondary schools in the belief that their vision would promote equitable education by changing gender regimes that play in schools. Gender regimes are patterns of gender arrangements that could disadvantage the education of boys or girls (Connell, 2002). The purpose of this study was to discover if female administrators perceived and had developed strategies to change gender regimes in their schools. Participants were 13 female administrators of government-supported coeducational mixed/day secondary schools in Kampala and Wakiso urban districts. Participants ranged in age from 37 to 59 years and in school experience from 12 to 32 years. Nine participants held masters' degrees and 4 were currently enrolled in masters' programs. All participants were members of a female organization. The investigator used qualitative methodology to collect and analyze data and to report findings. With each participant, the investigator engaged in an open dialogue and used a semi-structured protocol to conduct an interview that was recorded and transcribed. The investigator examined archival records and collected artifacts from each school. Data were analyzed emically with NVivo software to facilitate the iterative process of identifying and refining themes. Themes had to reach a threshold of 50% to be considered significant. The findings revealed that female administrators perceived gender regimes related to family culture, school culture, sexuality, and power and authority. All female administrators had developed strategies to change the gender regimes that disadvantaged girls' education. These perceptions and strategies indicated that gender regimes were part of the vision of female administrators, but insufficient evidence was collected to determine the degree they were part of their strategic goals. These findings are significant because if these female administrators can change the gender regimes at play in their schools, they will make a significant contribution to providing equitable education to their students. While these findings cannot be generalized, this work may help other educators gain a better understanding of the influence of gender regimes in their schools.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations



Date Submitted


Document Type





Gender Regimes, Uganda, Schools in Uganda, Equitable Education, Female Head Teachers in Uganda