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Chiefs’ narratives of girls and their education in Malawi

Chibambo, Blessings (2018) Chiefs’ narratives of girls and their education in Malawi. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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This thesis engages in a discussion around the education of girls in Malawi. Despite government and non-governmental organizations interventions in girls’ education, the dropout rate continues to rise. Discriminatory cultural practices seem to be a contributing factor to this problem. In examining cultural narratives of chiefs, the research aims to find how such narratives are perpetuating girls’ attendance in schools. The research proposes that if chiefs begin to develop critical consciousness (Freire, 2000, 1974) by using authentic dialogue, they could begin to see the world of girls in relation to education differently. In this project, I ask the question: What cultural narratives and practices do Malawian chiefs perpetuate that affect girls’ education? The findings come from literature review and interviews with chiefs in Traditional Authority Malili in Lilongwe District. I used narrative inquiry as my methodology in capturing the stories that the chiefs shared during the interviews. There were three main themes that emerged out of the chiefs’ narratives. Compared to the past, chiefs now prefer to initiate young girls because after initiation ceremonies most older girls drop out of school. The research also found that girls are trained for house chores while still young unlike boys because they are regarded as mothers of the home and in preparation for their future. Lastly, the research found that girls behavior has changed due to outside influences such as democracy, gambling and inappropriate films. This has led chiefs in believing that girls are stubborn and disrespectful and therefore leading to school dropout.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Chiefs; Critical consciousness; Culture; Girls' education; Malawi
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Sustainable Communities
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2021 19:17
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5274

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