In this chapter, we examined women’s experiences of becoming and being school principals in Lebanon. By conducting a comprehensive literature review of studies on women managers in the Arab region, we drew up a conceptual framework showing a range of injustices and locations where they manifest, namely, when accessing principalship, developing as professionals at the workplace, and managing between home and work responsibilities. Based on these themes, we uncovered structures that sustain the injustices of women pursuing and maintaining school leadership roles in Lebanon and, by and large, the Arab region.
We uphold the freedoms of choice and dignities of individuals. Thus, we are deeply concerned with the extent to which choices are intersubjectively and critically examined. Of the numerous core issues that have emerged in this chapter, we highlight two key discourses for public debate, civil action, transformation, and self-reflection. First, structures found at organizational and state levels define the positions and functions of genders. In organizations, women leaders consistently accountable to male authorities situate women as subordinate regardless of their positional power in administration. Furthermore, parental leave for mothers only functionalizes women as the child rearers, resulting in numerous consequences including sacrifices to professional work, emotional fatigue, and socially constructed minimalist notions of support from male partners. Second, most roles of what men and women are expected to do are defined and, most likely, preferred. These women (like many others around the world) could experience discomfort seeing their husbands actively engaging in child rearing and preparing meals, which could be perceived as intrusive or threatening to their gendered identities. (Author's abstract)