This study sought to establish the philosophical background to affirmative action for women in tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe in general and at Marymount Teachers College in particular. The research strategy used was triangulation, using interviews, content analysis of written resources and statistical analysis of data. The conclusions drawn were that women are poorly represented both on the lecturing staff body and on the student body and that figures for girls get lower as the education ladder gets higher. The selection process was also noted to militate against the enrolment of females into tertiary institutions. The study thus recommended that girls education should be perceived as problematic and as worthy of attention and that affirmative action in the short term is the correct policy to re-dress historical imbalances in the education of girls.