Educational Administration, Department of



Jill Sperandio

Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 5. No. I-January 2007 ISSN: 1541-6224


Copyright © 2007 Pro>Active Publications. Used by permission.


In this article I describe the extent to which Bangladeshi women have taken advantage of the increased opportunities both to lead and manage educational institutions and to own them. I use data from government and informal sector educational institutions and interviews with female private school owners collected during fieldwork in Bangladesh. I discuss the factors that may militate against women taking advantage of developing opportunities particularly in the formal and private education sectors in Bangladesh. Adopting a critical feminist perspective and an awareness of sociological research relating cultural differences to educational leadership, I conclude by recommending methods of ensuring progress towards gender equity in educational leadership in the public and private education in Bangladesh. The underrepresentation of women in educational leadership and management, from school to national level, continues to be a feature of education systems worldwide. This is particularly the case in the countries of South Asia, where teaching has been overwhelmingly male-dominated (Haq & Haq, 1998). Many governments have acknowledged the need for gender equity supported by conscious policy making and implementation to induct women into managerial positions in education, but few have translated intent into action. Women in South Asian countries have limited representation as principals or assistant principals of schools and colleges, or hold positions in the higher levels of educational policymaking. This is the case in the formal public education sector in Bangladesh.