Women-only leadership positions in the Middle East: exploring cultural attitudes towards Syrian women for sport career development

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Based on the gender ratios in the leadership positions of general sport organisation in Syria, this article aims to explore the reasons behind the low level of women in sport leadership positions. Leadership training used in the general sport organisation in Syria for high-skilled leaders serves to understand the how individual leaders develop in sport bodies, but it fails to explain the reasons for the low level of women in senior sport administrative positions. In this study, I attempt to analyze the cultural aspects to find out: the nature of challenges surrounding women's' career development; and how Syrian women learn and develop within the institutional-cultural context of Syria. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews with ten Syrian women leaders: eight from sports governing bodies, one from the National Olympic Committee, and one from the high executive committee. Implications for addressing the challenges for the low level of women in top management in Syrian sport are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-81
Number of pages18
JournalAdvancing Women in Leadership
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • National culture
  • Leadership
  • Development
  • Syrian women
  • Sport

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