Women in management : a case study of the Sudan
This study explores the phenomenon of female under-representation in executive jobs
in the Sudanese Federal Ministries of Health and Education. It investigates the impact
of organisational processes; female and male managers' understanding of
management and leadership; family-work conflict; gender and allocation of tasks;
group interaction and job satisfaction.
Few studies and empirical work have attempted to investigate the barriers that
contribute to the paucity of women in top management in the Sudanese context.
This research owes its significance to the fact that it is being carried out in non-
Western milieux, which necessitates the examination of the impact of social, political,
economic, cultural factors and Islamic influence on the phenomenon. The study is
organised in three parts: the conceptual framework; the methodological issues; the
analysis of the data, discussion of the findings and conclusions.
The study adopted a phenomenological, constructivist approach and interpretive
sociology to generate its epistemology. The investigation was based on a case study,
using a qualitative approach and triangulation of methods.
The two ministries do not function according to the ideal bureaucratic model and are
influenced by a host of indigenous factors. The interaction of political, social, cultural
and religious factors tend to reinforce sex- segregation and male's domination culture,
which in turn reproduce patriarchal forms of organizations. Recent trend of
Islamisation and the dominance of its political ideaology had their ramifications on
national policies governing organizational processes and procedures. Consequently,
these are responsible for the negative impact on female managers underrepresentation
at senior management levels.
This study presents five major conclusions, the practical purpose of the research, the
limitations of the study and the implications of the research findings. The research
calls for further investigation of other barriers and the impact of Islamic influence on
female under-representation in management.