Enabling Instruments, Encouraging Results, and Unmet Challenges: Females’ Higher Education Access in Ethiopia
This study examined the policy environment available to enhance females’ access to higher education in Ethiopia and the success stories as a result. Moreover, it explored challenges that defy international, regional and national instruments and efforts. A qualitative descriptive method was used and semi-structured key informant interviews, focus group discussion, and document review were employed to collect relevant data. Primary data were obtained from a State Minister, a Directorate Director and three experts (within the same directorate) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Education. Secondary data were secured by reviewing many documents, including the Ethiopian Constitution and the Education and Training Policy. The findings reveal that there is a favourable policy environment or there are many instruments that are aimed at addressing the issue of females’ access to higher education. As a result, there are overall improvements in females’ university enrolments but still there is a long way to go to declare victory. Deeprooted problems remained deep. The issue of females’ access to higher education is being side-lined even before satisfactory results are achieved. It is suggested that the issue should remain among the country’s priorities since the problem can be solved, but only slowly.
Key Words: higher education, access, females, policies, Africa, Ethiopia
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