African Women in Basketball on the path to Achieving Gender Equality

There has always been a tag of war between the male and female gender in the society set up–the gender equality discourses and dissenting opinions stemming from the roles both men and women play in leadership positions,sports and other sectors.Africa since time immemorial has been a patriarchal society with the female gender considered inferior,blame it on the fact,some African traditional beliefs suggest women belong to the kitchen.There is a thin line between gender equality and gender equity,too often people cross the line.

Basketball is a male dominated sport and women taking up the game both as players and coaches is the way to bridge the gap and break barriers of gender inequality.The 21st century African society has been doing exactly that with an array of women basketball leagues emerging across the continent.The discovery of women talents in the game across Africa has been aided by the existence of FIBA Africa Women`s Championship Cup which was launched in 1985 in Dakar Senegal.

In support of gender equality across Africa,Basketball Africa League during this year`s International women`s Day launched a gender equality initiative that will focus on social justice and the many problems that hinder women from pursuing their basketball careers such as gender based violence and social prejudices.

“The Basketball Africa League is committed to fighting the stereotypes, prejudices and barriers that too often prevent women in Africa from realizing their dreams,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall.  “These initiatives will help ensure that young girls and women across the continent have the opportunities and resources that will help them grow on the court and in life.”

Having seen Kenya Men`s National Basketball team head into FIBA Afro-basket 2021 tournament with a woman head coach, then it is only fair to say Africa is becoming of age. There are hurdles in achieving gender equality, nonetheless, there are women who have made strides and soared even higher in the game; Mercy Wanyama the Kenya women basketball league 2017 MVP is an example. The former Equity Bank guard now plays professional basketball in Spain.

Steven Kabila

Writing about Basketball as well its socioeconomic impacts. l'écriture est ma tasse de café.

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