Influence of Gender Norms on Education Participation among Secondary School Girls in Homa Bay County




Attitudes, Education Participation, Gender Norms, Patriarchal Norms, Secondary School Girls


Several studies in sub-Saharan Africa have looked at the impact of gender norms on the education of girls. Nevertheless, on a national level, limited studies have attempted to directly investigate the girls’ views and their experiences of these norms. Therefore, this study is intended to investigate the influence of gender norms on the education participation of secondary school girls in Homa Bay County (HBC). The study adopted a concurrent transformative research design, majorly quantitative with an embedded qualitative bit. The population of interest comprised all secondary school girls in HBC. Purposive sampling was applied to limit the sample population to the three sub-counties of Rachwonyo South, Rachwonyo East, and Ndhiwa. Solvin’s formula was used to arrive at a sample size of 393. Respondents were selected using a proportionate stratified sampling method. Additionally, one guidance/counselling teacher, one principal, and one area education director from the participating schools were purposefully included in the study to provide complementary qualitative data. Data from female students was collected by means of questionnaires. Interview schedules were used to collect data from the other participants. The validity of the test was established through expert input and the adaptation of tests used in similar studies. Instrument reliability was confirmed by a test-retest test that returned a correlation coefficient of 0.766. The quantitative data was coded and analysed using SPSS version 24.0. Linear regression was run between education participation and gender norms, and the outcome was an equation model. Qualitative data provided evaluative references in the discussion. The relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable was found to be statistically significant (t = 1.295, p <.001). The study found that the gender norms of most secondary school girls in Homa Bay County are disposed to unquestioning submissiveness to men and over-involvement in domestic chores. The study recommends that school authorities use parental gatherings to create awareness that focuses girls’ attention on career development. Interventions to improve girls’ education participation will benefit from these findings. Similar studies are needed to establish the plausibility of generalizing the findings beyond Homa Bay County.


Abuya, B. A., Onsomu, E. O., & Moore, D. (2014). Determinants of Educational Exclusion: Poor Urban Girls' Experiences In-and Out of School in Kenya. Prospects, 44(3), 381-394.

Aikman, S., & Unterhalter, E. (2013). Gender equality, capabilities and the terrain of quality education. In Education quality and social justice in the Global South. Routledge.

Aldawid, O. E. (2010). A survey of factors influencing girls' attitude towards secondary education in Wajir district, Kenya (Master's Thesis, University of Nairobi).

Aseta, J.A., Ayaga, A.O., Ayodo, T. & Sigei, J. (2016). "Challenges Impacting on Female Students Enrolment and Completion Rates in Public Secondary Schools in Nyamusi Division Nyamira Sub County Kenya." 6th Annual Conference. Kabarak University.

Aziz, F., Quraishi, U., & Kazi, A. S. (2018). Factors Behind Classroom Participation of Secondary School Students (a Gender-Based Analysis). Universal Journal of Educational Research, 6(2), 211-217.

Baliamoune-Lutz, M., & McGillivray, M. (2015). The Impact of Gender Inequality in Education on Income in Africa and the Middle East. Economic Modelling, 47, 1-11.

Barasa, A. S. (2014). Influence of Attitude, Perceived Ability, and Self-Esteem on Conceptualization of Science Subjects in Eldoret Municipality (Master's Thesis, Moi University)

Bicchieri, C. (2016). Norms in the Wild: How to Diagnose, Measure, and Change Social Norms. Oxford University Press.

Birchall, J. (2018). Early Marriage, Pregnancy, and Girl Child School Dropout. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

Brown, T. A. (2015). Confirmatory Factor Analysis for Applied Research. Guilford Publications.

Children's Act, 2001

Chingtham, T., & Guite, T. (2017). Parental attitude towards girl's education. IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education, 7(4), 1-6.

Connelly, L. M. (2013). Demographic data in research studies. Medsurg Nursing, 22(4), 269-271.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (4th ed.). Sage.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (5th ed.). Sage.

Danieli, Y., Stamatopoulou, E., & Dias, C. (2018). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Fifty Years and Beyond. Routledge.

Gatwiri, K. (2019). African Women, Gender, Health, and Sexuality: Theoretical Considerations. In African Womanhood and Incontinent Bodies (pp. 59-94). Springer.

Hendrick, C., Hendrick, S. S., & Reich, D. A. (2006). The Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale. Journal of Sex Research, 43(1), 76-86.

Holm, A.-S. (2010). Gender Patterns and Student Agency: Secondary School Students' Perceptions Over Time. European Educational Research Journal, 9(2), 257-268.

Homa Bay County (2020). Education Director's Report. Homa Bay County.

Homa Bay County. (2020). Health Statistics Report: Teen Mothers' Records. Homa Bay County.

Israel, G. D. (1992). Determining Sample Size (IFAS Report PEOD6). University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. Retrieved from

Jessor, R. (2014). Problem Behaviour Theory: A Half-Century of Research on Adolescent Behaviour and Development.

Jessor, R., Van Den Bos, J., Vanderryn, J., Costa, F. M., & Turbin, M. S. (2016). Problem Behaviour Theory and the Dynamics of Protection and Risk. In The Origins and Development of Problem Behaviour Theory (pp. 131-153). Springer.

Kashu, J. N. (2014). Survey on Gender and Academic Performance in Secondary Schools in Kenya (Master's Thesis, University of Nairobi).

Kenya Demographic Health Survey. (2014)

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. (2020).

Kenya National Sector Strategic Plan 2018-2022.

Kessels, U., Heyder, A., Latsch, M., & Hannover, B. (2014). How gender differences in academic engagement relate to students' gender identity. Educational Research, 56(2), 220-229.

Khaemba, J. M. (2015). Endorsing Hegemonic Masculinities among the Bukusu through the Khuvita Ritual. Scholars Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(5A), 990-996.

Leung, H., Shek, D. T., Leung, E., & Shek, E. Y. (2019). Development of Contextually-Relevant Sexuality Education: Lessons from a Comprehensive Review of Adolescent Sexuality Education across Cultures. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(4), 621.

Luquis, R. R., Brelsford, G. M., & Rojas-Guyler, L. (2012). Religiosity, spirituality, sexual attitudes, and sexual behaviours among college students. Journal of Religion and Health, 51(3), 601-614.

Lutta, C. (2015). The traditional levirate custom as practiced by Luos of Kenya. University of Gävle.

MacNaughton, G., & Koutsioumpas, K. (2017). Universal Human Rights Education for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In Globalisation, Human Rights Education and Reforms (pp. 15-33). Springer.

McDonald, R. I., & Crandall, C. S. (2015). Social Norms and Social Influence. Current Opinion in Behavioural Sciences, 3, 147-151.

Mlyakado, B. P., & Timothy, N. (2014). Effects of students' sexual relationship on academic performance among secondary school students in Tanzania. Academic Research International, 5(4), 278-286.

Muyaka, J. (2018). Community Environment and Education of Girls: The Case of Communities in Marsabit County, Kenya. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 6(3), 430-439.

Mwenje, J. W. (2015). Implementation of re-entry policy for adolescent mothers in public secondary schools: A case of Nakuru County, Kenya (Thesis, Kenyatta University).

National Council for Population and Development, 2020

Ngore, A. V. (2012). Wife Inheritance Among the Luo of Kenya. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Ninsiima, A. B., Leye, E., Michielsen, K., Kemigisha, E., Nyakato, V. N., & Coene, G. (2018). "Girls have more challenges; they need to be locked up": A qualitative study of gender norms and the sexuality of young adolescents in Uganda. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(2), 193.

Pound, P., Langford, R., & Campbell, R. (2016). What do young people think about their school-based sex and relationship education? A qualitative synthesis of young people's views and experiences. BMJ open, 6(9), e011329.

Punch, K. F. (2014). Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative Approaches (3rd ed.). Sage.

Rath, S., & Wadhwa, S. (2017). Why Some Girls Drop out of Secondary School Despite Conditional Cash Transfers: A Mixed Method Analysis. Journal of Development Policy and Practice, 2(2), 163-194.

Siu-ming, T., Phyllis, K.W., Cherry, H.T., Diana, K.K., & Lau, C.D. (2019). Sexual Compulsivity, Sexual Self-Concept, and Cognitive Outcomes of Sexual Behaviour of Young Chinese Hong Kong Males with Compulsive Sexual Behaviour: Implications for Intervention and Prevention. Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, 104(C), 1-1.

Skosana, M. T., Peu, M. D., & Mogale, R. S. (2020). Disconnections and exclusions of parents in the prevention of teenage pregnancy: A phenomenological approach. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences, 13, 100251.

Unterhalter, E., Ezegwu, C., Adedokun, A. O., Dodo, M. L., & Dangaladim, W. (2017). Gender Equality in Education, Context and Criticality: Student Teacher Engagements in Three Northern Nigerian States. In Education and Extremisms (pp. 129-145). Routledge.

USAID. (2011). Compendium of Gender Scales. USAID. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Sifuna, A. B., Otieno, K., & Ouda, J. B. (2023). Influence of Gender Norms on Education Participation among Secondary School Girls in Homa Bay County. SCIENCE MUNDI, 3(1), 54–65.