Although development research, policy, and practice have focused extensively on women-headed households, the subject is rarely couched in terms of leadership. Drawing on case studies from Guatemala and Botswana, this paper focuses on perceptions of women heads of households in wider society; the extent to which positive images of female leadership have filtered to the grassroots; and the question of whether and how female leadership styles differ from those of male household heads. It highlights the challenges in changing gender ideologies that prescribe that men are ‘better’ heads than women.
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