Challenges Facing Palestinian Women in Assuming Leadership Positions in Higher Education Institutions: Glass Ceiling


  • Dr Munawwar Najim Islamic University of Gaza



Palestinian Women, Women in Higher Education, Glass Ceiling, Leadership Development, Women & Leadership


The purpose of this study is to reveal the opinions of women leaders about the challenges facing Palestinian women that prevents women from being a leader, which is called the glass ceiling. Mix method was used in this research, using a survey and a questionnaire. The participants of the study consisted of (15) women leaders working in higher education universities in Palestine holding the following positions: heads, deans, committee chairpersons, administrative officers, and vice chancellors. The research came out with several results. The most important challenges came in descending order as follows:  social cultural and political challenges, organizational and management challenges, family challenges, and finally the psychological and subjective challenges got the fourth rank. Women are excluded from assuming administrative positions due to several factors, including nepotism and male bias; Women have the ability and competence, but they need a supporter to strengthen them and enhance their confidence to take the step of candidacy for leadership; Lack of confidence in women’s capabilities and their scientific and practical competence from the point of view of men, and fear of the decisions they will make upon assuming higher positions. It is recommended that establishing formal and informal professional networks among women is necessary to strengthen communication, exchange experiences and information, discuss and analyse problems and provide solutions. Also, it is necessary for higher education institutions to provide an organizational climate supportive of women assuming leadership positions, providing them with the latest techniques and modern management methods, to overcome obstacles, and the consequent provision of training and qualification programs and courses that enable them to master their work.