“I Don’t Think It Makes the Difference”: An Intersectional Analysis of How Women Negotiate Gender While Navigating Stem Higher Education in Ethiopia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Ethiopia, broadening women’s participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) higher education is an espoused priority of federal policy makers, as government leaders seek to boost infrastructure development and economic growth. Policies are intended to create more inclusive environments for women. Meanwhile, existing models of college student persistence often assume that women articulate their gender as salient. In this qualitative project, I analyze interview data from 14 women who were current students or alumni of STEM programs at public universities in Ethiopia. Drawing primarily from Crenshaw’s (1990) theory of intersectionality, I conclude that most participants, especially those from higher socioeconomic and privileged geographic backgrounds, did not describe gender as a salient feature of their higher education experience. I postulate that women negotiate their gender in multiple ways because it is helpful for fitting in within the culture of Ethiopian universities. This agility in dealing with gender suggests that higher education environments are still hostile to women, despite the implementation of federal policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalComparative Education Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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