Rise to Leadership: An Evaluation of African Maasai Women's Leadership

By Ward, James A.; Kiruswa, Steven | Journal of International Business Research, May 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Rise to Leadership: An Evaluation of African Maasai Women's Leadership


Ward, James A., Kiruswa, Steven, Journal of International Business Research


ABSTRACT

Few Tanzanian Maasai women rise from poverty conditions to leadership positions (Fraser, Brown, Wright & Kiruswa, 2012). The Maasai, a pastoral semi-nomadic culture give women no tribal leadership roles over men (Nicholson, 2005). Tremendous changes are taking place in sub-Saharan Africa as traditional tribal cultures are impacted by modern society. Yet some Maasai women succeed to roles of political, corporate and non-profit leadership. Of the women who rise from poverty; how do they describe overcoming barriers to their leadership? There is a large body of literature on women overcoming barriers to rise to leadership; this study tested its application to this indigenous culture. Survey research using the Mentor Roles Instrument (Raggins & McFarlin, 1990) with population n= 99. The research provides information about empowerment for these women.

Keywords: Maasai women, sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania, women 's issues, leadership

INTRODUCTION

Women leaders in Africa have been largely invisible in scholarly research (Nkomo & Ngambi, 2009). There is a developing body of literature on how women in Africa rise from poverty to leadership roles. "There is relative consensus across the publications in terms of factors impeding African women's access and ascent to leadership and management. Those factors are early socialization, limited educational attainment, multiple roles, gender stereotyping, subtle discrimination, and organizational policies and procedures" (Nkomo & Ngamo, 2009, p. 55). Pressing African women's issues like mentoring, work, family, and sexual harassment are systemically underrepresented in literature. (Nkomo and Ngamo, 2009).

The Maasai of Tanzania are a marginalized pastoral semi-nomadic group (www.Loocip.com') with a median income less than $1,000 per year (World Bank, 2006). Maasai women are identified as marginalized as a community that lives below the level of interest and concern of Tanzanian society; they are hidden from the discursive articulations (Fraser, Brown, Wright, & Kiruswa, 2012). Maasai women are mostly illiterate, without access to formal education unless approved by men (who often do not value education); male elders decide if women will be funded or allowed to attend formal schooling (Fraser, et al., 2012). Yet in spite of hindrances, some Maasai women succeed to roles of political, corporate and nonprofit leadership. Of the women who rise from poverty; how do they describe the factors enabling leadership, and how do education, mentors, and structural variables hinder or empower them? Theories from other cultures of Africa are applied to determine if they explain how Maasai women overcome hindrances to their rise to leadership.

The conditions that hinder women from becoming leaders include cultural beliefs, structural, gender, and resource issues, traditional marriage and lack of education (Kambi, 2008; Tripp, 2003). These women have little opportunity for leadership, although a small percentage of the women do rise to be leaders. Women's hindrances literature is divided into three main areas of why these women remain hindered from leadership: (a) governmental and structural hindrances (Tripp, 2003, 1989; Shayo, 2005); (b) education and marriage opportunity (Sadie, 2005; Kritz & Makinwa-Adebusoye, 1999), and (c) cultural, gender discrimination and tribal practice (Nikomo & Ngambi, 2009).

African governments have recently started to address women's empowerment issues on a systemic level. A number of regulatory, legal and government enforcement issues remain that hinder women's progress (Kiamba, 2008; Shayo, 2005; Tripp, 2003). All sub-Saharan governments signed onto the 1997 Declaration on Gender and Development, to designate 30% of political leadership positions for women to create women's opportunity for involvement in governance by 2005 (Sadie, 2005). In this study leadership as influence is considered in the women's rise to leadership positions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rise to Leadership: An Evaluation of African Maasai Women's Leadership
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.