PtG Article 09.07.2010

African women get a kick out of soccer

25 years ago it would have been very rare to hear African women talking about soccer – even taboo. But that is now changing.

Juliet Torome, 25 years old and from Kenya, argues that the fact that young African women have begun to show an interest in sport is a great sign of hope for women soccer all over the African continent. Because of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, women are suddenly more interested in learning about the rules of soccer and follow it more vehemently than before. “But will this increased interest in sport bring African women more than just fodder for gossip?” she asks. When the US hosted the tournament in 1994, American women raced to the soccer fields. However, for African women it is not that simple.Given male dominance in African politics and soccer, any chance to improve the state of the sport that might arise from the 2010 World Cup will most likely benefit men. However, as African women become more educated and independent, the day might come where they will be able to decide for themselves, Torome dreams. SOURCE: The Globe and Mail