Namibia's Brave Gladiators: gendering the sport and development nexus from the 1998 2nd World Women and Sport Conference to the 2011 Women's World Cup

Jean Williams, Megan Chawansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-562
Number of pages13
JournalSport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2013

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