Leadership of University Women for Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo

A Critical Reflection

In: African and Asian Studies
Jacqueline Nembe Songu Luhahi Department of Management of Enterprises, Faculty of Sciences of Education and Psychology, University of Kinshasa Kinshasa The Democratic Republic of Congo

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As perceived protectors of the Congolese cultures figuratively and realistically and agents of positive economic and social changes, the role and the place of the Congolese women in general in the development schemes cannot be denied. However, intellectual debates about what the Congolese society at large expects the Congolese university women to contribute to the discourses about development and its various models have not been systematically studied. While, for instance, the discourse about the parity between women and men in the workplace is being promoted by the government, the studies on gender in higher education is still in its infancy. This study investigates women’s role within the context of the evolution of educational systems and their values since the Belgian administration. It examines educational policies in relationship to the models of development that both colonial and post-colonial administrations formulated and implemented. Although the study is essentially a reflection, putting an emphasis on conceptualization and theories, it is also supported by historical and cultural arguments and propositions. It is argued that the Congolese university women have ‘citizenry responsibility’ and ‘university education and engagement’ to propose new leadership role in development. Using historical-structuralist perspectives as developed in social sciences at large, I analyze further the issue of the nature of the relationship between the place and the role of university and that of leadership and development. I raise the issue of whether or not the Congolese university women’s leadership matters in the search for developmental models in the Congo.

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