• July 12th, 2020

From the stands - ‘They don’t generate enough interest’

‘Just look at the attendance; women sports do not generate enough interest,’ that is the common phrase used when Namibians’ attend women sporting events in the country. 
The men sporting events – be it whatever sports code – generate ten times more money on ticket sales compared to their female counterparts. This is not because women sports do not generate enough interest; it is the amount of time and money we put in marketing and promoting these events. 
There is systematic sexism in sports, especially in developing countries. When we talk about systematic sexism. we talk about how sexism is woven in the history of sports, how we view and talk about women and girls in sports, the gender stereotypes, and the distribution of funds to different sports federations or national teams. 
This system in sports leads to the unequal distribution of funds, which boils down to how women events are marketed and promoted by their own federations or clubs. Marketing and promoting sports events play a crucial role in stadium attendance.
It is unfair to say that male sports generate more revenue compared to women sports if we do not spend the same amount of money and energy in marketing and promoting women sports as we do for men. 
The men sports in Namibia has major corporates rallying behind the rugby and football national teams. These are the small things that enable systematic sexism. 
So, before one confidently criticises the attendance at women sporting events, one should question the major corporates that are rallying behind them. 
We can talk about equal pay all we want, but it does not matter until we start investing equally in how we market and promote sport events. It is not only the government that needs to step up; it is corporate bodies as well, especially parastatals. 
Women sports do not receive half the sponsorship that men sports do, and that needs to change if we want to develop women sports in the country and just sports in general.

* Tuzera-Otjiua Jeomba is a young women’s rights activist who avidly follows local sport and socio-economic developments. She can be reached at ffishory@gmail.com.  

Staff Reporter
2020-03-02 11:03:06 | 4 months ago

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