Women's football in Ghana forgotten and neglected
The beautiful game of football has been graced and globally accepted as one of the few elements capable of uniting different and sometimes even opposing factions of society. The game has been dominated by the male gender for decades and while a great deal of work has been done to increase football participation and interest among females much more effort is still needed in developing women’s football, specifically in Ghana.
At first, the regular question is what life is like for women involved in football or sports in general. Certain factors like culture and perception were seen as hindrances to female involvement in the game.
A good number of women participate in the sport and many others who are not directly involved love to watch games at major sports centres and even from the comfort of their homes. In terms of the patronage and attention, males have always had a greater share of the support compared to females and even with some effort made to bridge the gap, the situation remains unchanged.
Let’s focus on the women’s league football in Ghana where the female version of the FA Cup coincided with that of the males’. The general focus and publicity across the media was greatly skewed against the female edition of the FA Cup, raising pressing concerns about how the media’s neglect is adversely affecting the growth of women’s football.
Each morning leading up to the FA cup final matches, major sports shows on radio, television and social media were solely focused on the clash between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak scheduled to take place in Tamale. Meanwhile, everybody was silent about the women’s F.A. cup final, between Police ladies and Prison ladies at Cape Coast, which would take place a day before the men’s final.
With both leagues ending around the same period, sports journalists were picking their team of the season and their best players from the men’s league while disregarding their women counterparts. Even peripheral issues surrounding the Ghana premier league like bribery allegations were extensively analysed and explored at the expense of the female league.
Women’s football deserves considerably more attention and if Ghana wants to produce more stars on the international scene to rub shoulders with the top-notch teams, the media and FA need to start being more proactive in fostering mass interest for our female teams and league.
The media has proven adept at creating buzz and finding information about the men’s league. This underlying fact raises multiple queries such as - Is the media gender biased when it comes to women’s football coverage or are the authorities not working hard enough with the media? Is the women’s game not entertaining or competitive enough to catch the interest of the public? More of these questions need to be asked and, more importantly, answered to begin the process of elevating the importance and appeal of women’s football in Ghana.