The effect of soci-economic factors on women participation in higher education in Zanzibar

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of socio-economic factors on women participation in higher education in Zanzibar. The study strove to identify soco-economic factors based on work habits, parental education and encouragement, early marriage, unwanted pregnancies, and political legal system, to find out their effect on women participation in higher levels of education. The study was conducted in two secondary schools, four colleges, one educational institution, six Zanzibar Ministries, three Tanzania mainland Universities, and sixteen primary schools in Zanzibar. Participants of the study were secondary school girls, female primary school teachers, continuing students in the three Universities and female University graduates employed by Zanzibar Government. Data were collected through questionnaires, interview schedules, and documentation. The data were subjected to calculation of frequencies and percentages and also to content analysis. The findings of the study indicated that home work habit in rural and urban areas affected student's academic performance which led to the poor participation of the women in higher levels of education. Due to the perception of gender roles in the researched area, work habits had a greater effect on girls than to boy students. The findings also indicated that early marriage caused hinders girls from proceeding with higher education. This was due to the fact that married girls had family responsibilities which affected their academic performance. Also pregnancy among school girls contributed to the poor participation of women in higher education. Girls who got pregnant out wedlock were expelled from school and not given another opportunity to resume their studies after delivery. Further, the findings indicated that lack of parental educational and encouragement affected girls academic performance at school which later caused those girls not to proceed with higher education. The study also showed that, the political legal system encouraged the imbalance between women and men in higher levels of education. The system does not allow girls who get pregnant to continue with their education even after delivery. This situation has contributed to the decreasing number in higher education. Based on these findings the following conclusions were made: On the whole the socio-economic factors affected in differing degrees women education in Zanzibar four main variables affected girls performance. First, home work-habits caused girl's poor academic performance. Secondly, parental education and encouragement played an important role in motivating girls to proceed with higher studies. Thirdly, pregnancies at school contributed to the poor performance of girls which later led to the women under participation in higher education. On the basis of the findings and conclusions it recommended that parental encouragement should enhance at the national level. Also, it recommended that the regulation on expulsion of pregnant girls from school should be revised in order to allow the girls to resume their studies after delivery. Finally it is recommended that the Zanzibar society should be educated about advantages and disadvantages of early marriage, especially when girls are still in school. With regard to further, it was recommended, among other things, that a study be conducted to assess if religion is also a significant factor militating against women participation in higher studies.
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Women, Education, Higher education, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Study and teaching
Fadhili, M. A. M. (1996) The effect of soci-economic factors on women participation in higher education in Zanzibar, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (