Female Emancipation – The Current State of Women in Sport

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

The month of August is dedicated to women across the globe. We salute, celebrate and acknowledge all the amazing work which has been done by women over the generations. We are continuing with this theme, and focus as The Trust with this blog dedicated to all the remarkable women.

The definition of emancipated woman: a woman who is free from old social limitations and customs. She considers herself an emancipated woman.

It is unthinkable that women could not vote a century ago. Their roles were stereo-typed as wives, mothers and care-givers to their families. Yet, it was the same women in South Africa who stood up to the government and demanded equality and the abolishment of the dompass system.

Women in sport have also lobbied for generations to have equal treatment, recognition and rewards as their male counterpart. Flashback to 1973 when Billy Jean King took on Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes, tennis event, to highlight the plight of women in their sport.

The Williams Sisters have also lobbied and advocated for equal pay in tennis for many years; which ultimately led to the equality in the sport years later.

More recently we have witnessed an exponential increase in female sporting events being broadcast; including higher spectator attendance. The growth will be coupled with greater sponsorship and financial support for women sporting codes.

Despite the increase in numbers, yet again not enough is being done with regards to grassroots development for girls in sport. It’s important to provide platforms and opportunities for the young female athletes in under developed communities. Integral to the investment is sustainable support; not once-off investments due to hype and trending popularity.

Women’s Sport requires a more active presence and stronger involvement of role-models and sporting heroes, who are there to inspire, motivate and encourage more participation of young females in sport as a career option. By showcasing the benefits, opportunities and possibilities that these female professionals highlight the more interest there will be for the youth to take up sport as a career.

A recent article by FIFPRO, outlines the future of Women’s Professional Football as a result of the impact of Covid-19 pandemic in their 2020 Raising Our Game report. Please click on the link below the access the detailed report.


Telkom in partnership with Netball South Africa announced a major incentive for the players at the 2019 Netball World Cup in response to reward excellence in the sport. Team South Africa played exceptionally well and the incentive was to get them into the finals and ultimately cup winners. The tournament laid the foundation for the upcoming 2023 World Cup to be hosted in Cape Town.

South Africa’s female football team performed exceptionally well in recent years and achieved various accolades. Their accolades contributed to the increased awareness of women’s football in the country and the challenges they are facing.

Sport is an excellent platform to highlight gender inequalities in society and the most recent increases in gender based violence. Advocacy, role-modelling and continued coverage of these challenges would contribute towards addressing all these challenges and issues.

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