Women, Gender and Sport in Africa
 

Priscilla W. Karuru
Ohio University

Scoring for Social Change: Mathare Youth Sports Association Girls Team in Kenya

The Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) established in 1987 has become one of the popular football teams in Kenya. The group incorporates community building activities in its sports, and as a result these activities, MYSA has previously been nominated Nobel Peace Prize. While the MYSA is known for its men’s football leagues, this paper focuses on the women’s team that began in 1992. The women’s team has been able to transcend cultural barriers by engaging in, and being successful in a sport that has been traditionally male dominated. This paper uses a feminist approach and adopts a constitutive view of communication to reveal first, how involvement in sports has led to a new identity and self determination for the young women that is geared toward social change. Second, the paper examines how the women’s football team has led to a change in some of the stereotypes that have traditionally associated with women living in the slums.


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