This paper introduces women's football development in Namibia from 1998 to 2011 as a case study to argue that presumed synergies of sport and development couldovershadow the long-term effects of under-funding, discrimination and bureaucratic inertia. There are three key themes arising from this discussion. First, the often piecemeal sport-for-development initiatives are compared with a relative lack of sustainable long-term provision of sports infrastructure for girls and women. Second,sport for international development and peace programmes frequently claim to‘empower' girls without helping to create a community that is ready to embrace young women who have, indeed, become more confident and assertive. This raises thecomplicated issue of the significance of role models for women and girls. Having visible and respected female athletes in a community can help to shift perceptionsaround gender, but these effects are difficult to measure. Finally, the work concludeswith cautious optimism.
|Number of pages
|Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics
|Published - 14 Aug 2013