For the past three weeks, I have been navigating through the city’s playing grounds with keen interest specifically in women football.
Fortunately i have been following the ladies game for at least five years now.
To my surprise,all the teenage stars from then were nowhere to be found and thus we must conclude that ladies have the shortest football career if they ever have one.
WOMEN FOOTBALL IS SHORT
What comes to your mind is perhaps maybe why do ladies have the shortest footballing career yet they were brilliantly talented at tender ages.
Where are they now,what do they do,how did they move away from the beautiful game and why?
WOMEN FOOTBALLERS FACE DISCRIMINATION
In my view,an a series of reasons and thoughts may be key contributing factors leading to ladies not advancing in their careers.
Historically,women football has been fighting against discrimination and inequality.According to the 2017 FIFPro Global Employment Report, women’s exclusion from football,has hampered their ability to acquire skills, resources and be culturally accepted thus making them inadequate to compete further and progress in their careers.
The living example in Botswana is when national teams camp or report for duty, they are payed allowances,unsurprisingly the ladies allowances are way lower than that of their male counterparts.This inequality demotivate them to continue playing football.
SPORTS WOMEN ARE BULLIED
In the same way,ladies footballers and female athletes in general continually are been bullied for their muscline.
A typical example is the all famous Caster Semenya of South Africa whereby in the past few months the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has opened a probe in finding whether Semenya is woman enough to compete against women or she has an upper hand.
Recommendations has since been that Semenya should take substances that reduce her prowess over other competitors because of hormonal imbalance.
Locally Amantle Montsho deserves a brave heart medal,for she has been at the top regardless of the social media bulling for her body structure.
Imagine many other females with the same circumstance,how many managed not to quit and how many quieted sports.
I remember reading somewhere a while ago that we are making progress in women discrimination,despite this recent progress, discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity of female athletes exist.
Forbes reports that girls in sports may experience bullying, social isolation, negative performance evaluations, or the loss of their starting position.
During socially fragile adolescence, the fear of being tagged “gay” is strong enough to push many girls out of the game.So is many of our footballers locally.
GIRL CHILD LACKS ROLE MODEL
One burning factor is lack of positive role models for girl child in women football.
Girls are distracted with images of external beauty and not those of confident, strong female athletic role models. To some girls, fitting within the system that they are constantly told to stay in is more important than standing out.
To illustrate,one girl in my local team rejected my offer to recruit her to play football,she said that she does not want to look like a man but rather a princess she is.This reality leads girls to drop out of playing football.
MARRIAGE PLAYS A ROLE
I am aware that marriage is a stage in life,but one must note that when marriages come early to these players,priorities change,resulting in affecting women football.
As priorities change the talent in these ladies is lost quickly without being tapped into.A report published by Refinery29 suggests that:
“The majority of young women decide to drop out of a sport because they did not see a future for themselves in it and wanted to prioritize their time on school or other extracurricular instead including family commitments.”
WOMEN FOOTBALL LACKS FACILITIES
Remember,the facilities for ladies are not as good as the boys’ venues.The availability of quality, trained coaches are also a concern. More so that these coaches may be more focused on the boys’ programs that have more money for training. In short, sports is not “fun” any more thus they quit.
Equally significant,lack of access to these facilities leaves girls with 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have according to Forbes.
LACK OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION ALSO COME INTO PLAY
Lack of physical education in schools and limited opportunities to play sports in both high school and college mean girls have to look elsewhere for sports which may not exist or may cost more money.
Often there is an additional lack of access to adequate playing facilities near their homes that makes it more difficult for girls to engage more in sports thus quieting.
Men football careers are long because of the attention,priority and respect they get from FIFA.
They fully fetched professionals than of the ladies game.
FIFA AND BFA MUST UP THEIR GAME IN WOMEN FOOTBALL
The issues surrounding women football careers needs proper dealing by the BFA.