Sport: an outstanding tool for women’s empowerment


Sport is so much more than just a game or entertainment: it is a powerful tool for women’s empowerment. Sportswomen gain a foothold at home and in society by practising disciplines that are traditionally reserved for men.

As a universal, inspiring language that unites and brings people together, sport can transcend borders, cultures, beliefs and physical differences. The sports pitch becomes a space for self-empowerment, self-improvement and for sharing and forging social bonds.

Sport is also an excellent means of enhancing the value of women’s physical and mental abilities, boosting their self-confidence and independence, enabling them to assert their personalities, and developing their leadership skills in contexts where their bodies are often a social issue.

Despite the popularity and importance of sport in Africa, girls' and women's access to regular sports practice and to management positions in sports organisations is still very limited.

From an early age, girls’ primary and secondary school access and attendance rates in Africa are relatively low compared to those of boys; and yet, it is often in the school environment that young people discover physical education.
When they become teenagers, girls often face not only a lack of suitable facilities but also the preconceptions of parents, teachers and coaches.

One-off actions to promote women’s participation in sport in Africa, in particular through local clubs and in partnership with sports federations, have so far had relatively limited impact.

The Sport en Commun platform regularly promotes initiatives to develop women’s sport and assists project managers in their search for funding.


In the footsteps of champions

These sportswomen, past and present, have had glittering careers. They are a source of inspiration for many women and now they are rising to meet new challenges.

Find out more about the groundbreaking projects supported by these sporting champions who have displayed their commitment both on and off the field.