From Pride to Shame: The Narratives of African Women from Burkina Faso Pursuing Higher Education in the United States of America

Wend-Kouni Deo-Gratias Nintiema

Abstract


The lack of women's access to education and empowerment is a universal phenomenon and women from Burkina Faso have not been exempted from this experience. The effort to study abroad translates into gender inequality for women within the stratum of the African cultural expectations of marriage and motherhood. As a result, women who get the opportunity to study abroad face many socio-cultural challenges that affect their performance and success in the process of pursuing higher education. This study uses feminist qualitative methodology to document the narrative experiences of African women students from Burkina Faso pursuing higher education in American universities. This study explores the tension between cultural expectations of marriage, motherhood, and higher education on women’s lives and how women cope individually and collectively with these situations. The findings of the study help unravel the complexities of the women's identities, at the intersection of their lives and the decisions they make to pursue higher education. Additionally, the findings contribute in formulating policies to improve the quality of education, access and retention for women and girls in Burkina Faso.

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