Science Journal of Psychology

September 2012, Volume 2012, ISSN:2276-6278

Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


The Experiences of Ugandan Females in Mathematics

Janet Kaahwa

Makerere University

Accepted 3 September 2012; Available Online 17 September, 2012

doi: 10.7237/sjpsych/103


This study reports women's experiences in mathematics. Data was gathered in the years 1996 - 1999, 2007 and 2011. The aim was to use the experiences of successful Ugandan females in mathematics to establish factors that enhance females' persistence and success in mathematics and those that inhibit them. Participants were a random sample of 99 females ranging from students in senior three to six, college, university and members of the mathematics teaching profession. They were selected from all five regions (central, south, east, north and west) of Uganda. They responded to the researcher's guidelines for describing their experiences in mathematics at all levels of mathematics learning. Many (of 49) respondents) simply narrated their experiences in essay form. Their responses revealed support from parents, siblings, teachers and peers; availability of textbooks; their own personal effort (hard work, perseverance and determination) and role models helped them succeed. They also narrated some experiences that discouraged them from doing mathematics. In 2011 April a list of these in form of a questionnaire (see appendix 2) were given to 50 university students from two Ugandan public Universities. Respondents ranged from those who did mathematics up to O level to those who did or were doing mathematics at college or University.

Keyword: Women mathematicians; experiences of women; support from parents, siblings, teachers and peers; availability of textbooks; ambitions; hard work; perseverance; determination; role models, God.