Women, Gender and Sport in Africa
 
Douglas Mpondi
Ohio University

Women, race and sports in Zimbabwe

This paper will focus on the participation of women in sports in Zimbabwe from 1980 at independence to the present. The paper will also discuss the gendered and racial aspects of women participation in sports and their achievements for Zimbabwe. Since the Moscow Olympics in 1980, white women athletes have achieved acclaimed medals for Zimbabwe as compared to black African women. Coming to mind would be the all white “Golden Hockey Girls” who went to the Moscow Olympics in 1980, Cara Black’s phenomenal achievements in tennis- she won the Wimbledon juniors, is the current no. 1 in women doubles, Kirsty Coventry’s unprecedented harvest of the gold, silver and bronze medals in women’s swimming in Athens 2004.  Male black teams and athletes have achieved tremendously and have been recognized for their achievements. The senior soccer team has several achievements; the 1985 CECAFA trophy; two COSAFA cups; it has qualified twice for the African Cup of Nations, in 2004 and 2006. Nothing has come from the women’s soccer team or female athletes except for some local trophies. The paper will attempt to answer the following questions: why have white athletes achieved more in sports than black women athletes in Zimbabwe; why do few women participate in sports in Zimbabwe; is there any funding for women sports in Zimbabwe? 

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