Opportunities and Challenges of Women’s Participation in Decision-Making at Local Government Administration: The Case of Debre-Tabor City Administration, South Gondar Zone, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia
This paper aimed at investigating opportunities and challenges of women’s participation in decision making as little attention was given to opportunities and challenges of women’s participation in decision making at local level. There are few researches on opportunities and challenges of women’s participation in decision making at local level and more focus on opportunities and challenges of women’s participation in agricultural, economical, educational and leadership. The purpose of the study is to explore challenges that women face in their decision making and reflect on the opportunities that are being undertaken by stake holders and local government. A qualitative research method utilized in the study to get an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon. The researcher used case study research design which helps to deeply study a phenomenon. The researcher then employed thematic analysis to come up with findings and discussion. Purposive and referral chain sampling techniques have also been employed in the study. The finding of the study is based on semi-structured-interviews and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). Empirical data gathered through interviews and FGD in Debre Tabor City Administration. The research findings indicated that women faced a number of constraints to participate in the decision making at a local level. These constraints were cultural beliefs, illiteracy and low level of education, economic and financial problems, religion, nature, household activities, negative perception of the society, men oppression and chauvinism, lack of confidence and interest among women and weak bureaucracy. Within those challenges, there were opportunities which enabled and designed to maintain women toward the decision making participation. Those opportunities were international law and convention, constitutional and different legal orientation, packages, programmes, policies and initiatives, different governmental structure of women, education, training and awareness, preparation of periodical meeting, economic empowerment and the quota system. The study recommends the creation of an enabling environment for women’s decision making ability empowerment.