Mon, 24 Jun 2024 Opinion

Gender Equality in Ghanaian Football

By Bridget Abaka Ampah
Gender Equality in Ghanaian Football

Ever notice how women’s football in Ghana is like a hidden gem waiting to sparkle?

Stereotypes and old-fashioned norms have dimmed the spotlight on these talented athletes, leaving them in the shadows. These stereotypes do not only influence their talent and dedication but results in women’s football receiving less attention and support in media coverage, sponsorship and resources.

In Ghana, statistics provided by sports journalist indicates a stark difference: coverage of women’s football in Ghana constitutes less than 10% of total football reporting. This limited exposure has an impact on their opportunities and public awareness of their achievements.

As a result, female footballers have difficulty in obtaining the recognition and financial support needed for their professional development.

Female footballers are disadvantaged financially compared to their male counterparts.

The level of sponsorship and investment in women's football is significantly lower, which has an impact on everything from training facilities to salaries

My observation of various news outlets, including online graphics and newspapers like Graphic Online and Daily Guide, confirms that men's football receives more media coverage, attracting more sponsorship and resources. This perpetuates the stereotype that men's football is more important and deserving of attention.

Unhappy female sports journalists in Ghana have complained about less publicity, sponsorship and resources given to women’s football yet the problem remains the same.

The significant question is ‘why women's football is not given enough media coverage, sponsorship and resources?’ what is there something the women’s football team not doing right or Ghana football association not doing anything to support them?

Ghana Football Association launched an initiative to improve the visibility, resources

,and sponsorship of the women’s football team, which is still ongoing. Yet, these initiatives cannot gain much media coverage on these female football games.

Some media stations do not even broadcast these female matches like the Black Queens but constantly broadcast the male football matches, which attracts sponsors and investors to the men’s football team rather than the women’s football team.

Award-winning sports journalist Juliet Bawuah noted in a 2021 interview that women's football is consistently overlooked, lacking media coverage, sponsorship, and resources. This lack of support hampers the growth and visibility of the sport, and stakeholders need to come together to change this narrative and provide equal opportunities for female athletes

Not only does the media coverage prevent the professional development of female athletes, it also reinforces the perception that women's football is less commercially viable or deserving of support.

Another important factor in the continuation of these stereotypes is spectators. Compared to men's football games, fewer people attend women's football games. The long-held perception that women's football is less thrilling or skillful is to blame for this. Interviews with supporters uncover a pervasive prejudice, with many acknowledging that the perceived greater caliber of play makes them prefer to watch men's football. The public attitude that is required to boost women's football is further undermined by this mentality.

There is a chance that Ghanaian women's football may survive. It is time for the government, sponsors, and Ghana Football Association to take decisive action against the gender prejudice, resource constraints, and misconceptions that have hindered women's football for so long. By supporting women's football, giving all players the same opportunity, and questioning social conventions, we can enable female players to realize their full potential and encourage a new wave of young girls to take up the sport. Change is needed, and it is time. Together, let us provide fair and equal opportunities for everybody.

University of Media,Arts and Communication -Faculty of Journalism

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