The disinterest in Women's football in Ghana; a blessing or a curse? Featured
25 Jun

The disinterest in Women's football in Ghana; a blessing or a curse?

One of my best moments being a Ghanaian is the day the Black Satellite played against Brazil in the 2009 Under 20 World Cup final in Cairo, Egypt. The passion Ghanaians watched that final with is something I still remember even in my worst moments. That is how Ghanaians revere the game of football. It is a gene in our blood.
 
An aspect of football in Ghana that is young but doing extremely well is Women's football. The delight in watching young beautiful and energetic women play is immeasurable.
 
The likes of Alberta Sackey, the 2002 African Women's Player of the Year and Adjoa Bayor, the 2003 African Women's Player of the Year have contributed their quota to the development of Women's Football in Ghana.
 
In recent times, Mukarama Abdullahi, the University for Development Studies, UDS, product and striker for Black Maidens who topped the goal king chart during the U-17 Women's World Cup qualifier in Africa, is setting the pace for young players like her to follow. Princela Adubea of Ampem Darkoa Ladies has, of recent late, defied odds to prove a strong case for quality in Women's football if focus and interest is channeled to it.
 
The Women's National Team, the Black Queens, is  ranked the second best Women's National Team in Africa and the 46th best in the world. Clearly, Women's football has had its contribution to the reputation that Ghana has chalked around the world in terms of football. Ghana has become an epitome of Women's football in Africa over the years.
 
So I ask, why the gross disinterest in Women's football in Ghana? The same old African thoughts that goes with the old adage, "a woman's office is the kitchen"?
 
Some men and women who still have these primitive thoughts that no matter a woman's height and status in life, her place will always be the kitchen. Paradoxically means to say, no matter how talented a woman is with her foot on the field, the kitchen is still her destination.
 
With this adage that seem colloquial yet transcend to these days of high technology and modernisation, one could easily conclude to accept that the disinterest in Women's football in Ghana still resides from this adage.
 
This is the 21st century where women are playing their games in every profession they find themselves. There are supports from governmental agencies, corporate societies and non governmental organizations to help women make mark in their respective profession. These organizations can do same with Women's football because football is also their profession.
 
What if Ghanaians are not interested in Women's football because it is not lucrative? This is a legitimate question. Perhaps should the FRESHPAK Women's League and the Sanford Women's FA Cup competition had huge sums of funding supporting them, we wouldn't be having issues of disinterest towards Women's football.
 
As the old Akan parlance goes "y3di nam na y3yi  nam" which literally means "we use meat to get meat". Heavy investments must be done on the development of women's football. That is perhaps the most important reason why people have little interest in women's football.
 
It wouldn't be surprising to know that not many people, even women, know that there is a Women's League in Ghana. Neither do they know about the Women's FA Cup Competition. It all balls down to the little or no advertisements and promotions done before the start of both competitions to create awareness.
 
The English Premier did not start with those sponsorships. It started small and with huge investment in time and devoted attention, it became attractive enough for sponsors making it the most lucrative league in the world. If we are passionate about Women's football as we claim, we should learn to invest more on Women's football to achieve more with it.
 
Clearly, the disinterest in Women's football in Ghana will be, as a matter of fact, has been a curse to the nation in terms of the capacity building of young women in football whose career get nibbed in the mud because of unavailability of opportunities to exploit and exhibit their potentials.
 
This in turn increase in social vices as those women in football become a burden to the society and find awkward and inappropriate ways of making ends meat which football would have catered for.
 
Football is a vast sector where employment is created for the youth regardless of gender differences. In the formal industry where good academic background is needed to get a well-paid job, football seeks to give those who are not academically blessed with something to feed on. With a greater regard to the void left in Women's football in Ghana, we are doing much to encourage unemployment with its disinterest.
 
In as much as one could also argue that disinterest in Women's football has been a blessing from a moral and religious point, it is wise to know that there are equally amicable and prudent measures to arrest the issues of disinterest in Women's football being a blessing.
 
For those who argue against Women's Football from the perspective of religion, particularly from staunch Muslims who believe it's inappropriate for women to show some cleavage, disinterest in Women's football become a blessing for them and their faith.
 
If that's a problem, I believe the Iranian way can serve as a solution. Women footballers who are Muslims should be allowed to wear stretches and hijab to cover their cleavages so as not to limit, and probably extend further, to kill their talent and profession.
 
The curse of disinterest in Women's football in Ghana does not only weigh more than the blessing but also have a greater deal of propagating male chauvinism in trying to bridge the dichotomy between men and women using football as a starting point.
 
By: Amina Abdallah
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