Women, Sport and Development: Stakeholders share thoughts

GIZ, a German non-governmental organization in partnership with Football Kenya Federation [FKF] on Monday 4 September hosted the first ever symposium themed Women, Sport and Development in Kenya.

The symposium with the aim of sharing opinions, ideas, challenges and opportunities of the Females in sports also sparked a discussion on best ways to create equal opportunities for both men and women in sports in the present and in the future.

In its remarks, the FKF noted the milestones it has covered to ensure that the girls in Kenya have equal opportunities with their male counterparts by providing the right environment, infrastructure and facilitation while on national duties and also during club duties.

The balance 

-I would like to encourage the talented ladies that there is hope in and after playing football. As the Football Kenya Federation, we have ensured that there are women in the National Teams’ Technical Benches to create empowerment into more powerful roles in the near future, she stated. We are also offering free training for coaches and instructors so we hope that in future we will have an all women bench both in senior and junior teams. We urge for everyone’s support including the media to help us showcase the talents that we have in the country, she added.

-We have also harmonized allowances for both boys and girls teams but it is could be really unfortunate if there are federations that still discriminate on this front, she concluded.

In his contribution, FKF CEO Robert Muthomi noted that the federation has ensured that it spends way above what FIFA has allocated for development of Women Football in the country [15%] of what the world body sends.

Extra effort

-FIFA has allocated 15% for the Women Football but as FKF we have gone above and beyond that to 37%. We also pay for ambulances, officials and stadia while the male teams are largely left to their own devices. The national team has also enjoyed full support including friendlies, he noted.

The symposium ended with rallying call to all stakeholders to play and active role to ensure that the debate is maintained through all channels to ensure that women are active in sports into the future. The government was also challenged to allocate more resourced and additional logistical support to the national teams and federations as well to facilitate both clubs and national teams.

Key stakeholders in sports and gender in Kenya including one of the most decorated Women footballers Doreen Nabwire, former New York Marathon Champion Tegla Loroupe, FKF Vice President Doris Petra, Nairobi Woman representative Esther Passaris, GIZ Country Director Hendrik Linneweber and representative members from the fourth estate.