Recognizing the contributions of female athletes in Africa– Coming August 2016
Ducor Sports values women’s participation in sports across Africa and the world at large. Some of the world’s finest athletes are women, but yet a huge gender gap exists in African sports culture — and to a lesser degree around the world.
Female athletes in Africa face several obstacles including:
- Disparity in wages
- Unfavorable media coverage
- Dismal sponsorship contracts
- And in some African countries, female fans are sexually and verbally harassed by aggressive males for simply attending a game.
Worldwide, the gender wage gap is disheartening. For example, according to an article published on Politico in July 2015, the payout difference between Women’s World Cup and Men’s World Cup is a measly $15 million for women versus $576 million for men.
In the United States where female participation in sports is much more equitable and valued, there’s still room for improvement. For example, the salary range for most women in the National Women’s Soccer League is between $6,000 and $30,000 with a salary cap of about $200,000. In 2014, the salary cap for the Major League Soccer was $3.1 million. What’s more, the minimum starting salary for the National Women’s Soccer League is $6,000 compared to $60,000 for men in Major League Soccer. In addition, athletic opportunities for girls are less than for boys. The Sharp Center for Women and Girls reported that in 2010 52 percent of boys and 41 percent of girls had athletic opportunities in school.
In Africa, female athletes can expect to be underpaid, scrutinized, harassed, and unfairly portrayed in the media while their male counterparts are idolized, even when performance is subpar.
Despite these challenges, the female athletes we’ve met are undeterred. They’re driven by a passion for the game, to break down barriers, and pave the way for their daughters. Africa is at a crossroads; we can either embrace women’s sports or continue to marginalize female athletes.
Here at Ducor Sports, we believe that it’s time to change the sports culture to be more inclusive; to value all athletes regardless of gender. We want to be part of the solution, and to that end we will report on women’s sports in Africa with journalistic integrity and a mission of sports equality.
Here you’ll find a variety of feature articles profiling female athletes in Africa, sports coverage of women’s sports, editorials raising awareness of gender disparities in sports, and an appreciation for the contributions of female athletes, coaches, and advocates.
Featured photo(Blessing Okagbare) courtesy of Nike