GENDER EQUITY: SECONDARY SCHOOL WOMEN MUSIC EDUCATORS’ EXPERIENCES IN BUNGOMA COUNTY
Osoro, Tabitha Kwamboka
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There are a number of factors that influence the experiences of men and women music educators. One of these factors, based on assigned and assumed roles, is gender that affects the music practices in schools, workshops, and Music Festivals. It is on this premise that this study was carried out to examine the gender-based encounters of secondary school women educators of Bungoma County within the Kenyan music education spaces. Specifically, the researcher sought to: examine the nature of gendered experiences of music educators in Bungoma County; to determine the normative practices regulating experiences of women music educators in music education spaces in Bungoma County; and to interrogate the modalities of agency employed by women music educators in Bungoma County to navigate the gendered music spaces. The research's significance was its potential to illuminate the perspectives of women music educators of Bungoma County to create a fair ground for newly recruited women music educators. Another significance was the knowledge that it sought to contribute to the music education field in matters pertaining gender issues in music education in Kenya. The target population was the women music educators of Bungoma County who are eight (including the researcher). The study adopted a qualitative phenomenological approach and purposive sampling technique whereby all women music educators in Bungoma County were sampled. They were sampled on the basis that they are women music educators and, of secondary schools in Bungoma County. The data collection instruments used were semi-structured interviews. The data collected was qualitatively analyzed. Specifically, thematic analysis method was employed. The study used Butler`s gender performance theory to analyse the normative practices that regulate the experiences of women music educators and Foucauldian theory of power to analyse how a dominant identity produces discourses that define the women music educators as subordinate. It was established that women music educators` experiences are influenced with gender, western ideologies, class and sexuality. Secondly, it was realized that women music educators are confined to specific music activities by stereotypes, myths and expectations existent in the music education spaces. Lastly, it was observed that the women music educators subvert these practices through music discourses, silence and avoidance of competitive posts.