Kampala — At the primary ever Women and Sports Conference in Uganda, at Grand Imperial Hotel February 22, congregants, in most cases ladies, spent a complete day in Sasa Hall navigating the nation and demanding situations of women’s sports in Uganda. Inadequate funding, loss of secure space, and restrained media attention–with societal stereotypes the thread that connects those–featured maximum.
Marking the International Women’s Day, we gift excerpts from our special interviews with a number of the panelists.
Winnie Atyang: Former national rugby captain
People take a look at girls as though they may be simply wasting time doing sure things like sports activities.
Because the sport I do is male-ruled, humans question me ‘what are you going to benefit due to the fact after a few years you’ll endure kids and drop out.’ But I tell them ‘I already bore my children and I’m still acting very well.’
Someone asks you ‘are you lesbian, why are you gambling any such recreation?’ It’s insulting and demoralizing to mention the least.
The other component is the shortage of investment. I consider many proficient ladies die with their abilities because the government does no longer fund us sufficiently.
I bear in mind a colleges rugby opposition a few years in the past. A woman from Lira became excellent, very rapid passionate and aggressive but performed in a skirt due to the fact she didn’t have shorts. I gave her my shorts… In the very last they beat St. Lawrence hands down. But I never have visible her again. She may be someplace bearing youngsters, but her expertise is buried.
So I think if the government stops losing money on vain ventures [which I know you know] and gives extra funding to us, the sky’s the restrict for Ugandan sportswomen.
And can a Ugandan sportswoman be a full female?
Yes, as long as the person appreciates that this woman loves her recreation. What kills relationships is that sportswomen travel lots. So the man has to be patient.
I assume [Dorcus] Inzikuru could have won us other medals if she hadn’t given delivery at that time because that became her top. I desire her husband became a bit patient to allow her to explore her talent entirely. I use her as an instance due to the fact in crew sports [like rugby] a teammate can cover up for my weak spot however if you are a person sportswoman it is you and your self alone.
Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho: National basketball captain
Women’s sports do now not get as much attention as the men’s. The media insurance is also still low, even though that is changing in recent times. I see the media making some loud noise approximately the She Cranes [the national netball team].
The other problem is that girls do not support every other sufficiently. You don’t locate many women looking at girls’ rugby games, as an instance, but they may be many at guys’ games.
But the biggest challenge is negative funding. If women’s sports activities get good enough finances, we’d genuinely be a long way. We want planned funding into nurturing ladies, right from number one school but many number one schools nowadays forget about sports [which denies our children a sporting chance at their formative age].
However, there are numerous elite girls at club degree willing to symbolize their u. S. But that itself obviously wishes severe funding in terms of instruction, which we lack. We want leaders who are obsessed with women doing sports. Otherwise, if you only care about guys, it’s not going anywhere. After all, ladies’ groups have been greater a success than guys.
And can a Ugandan sportswoman be a full female?
Why no longer? I’m a wife, a mother, a basketballer, an entrepreneur, a model, a dancer, a logo ambassador, etc. All girls have been born to be full ladies. We are all literally splendid ladies… It’s merely that we cut ourselves quick….Each lady can be a full lady due to the fact we have been born that manner.
Patricia Apolot: boxer, kickboxer
The biggest challenge is that fellow women who’ve made it to the pinnacle have now not helped our purpose. Not only politicians, however, but most successful women across all sectors also aren’t representing us well. They go away us to warfare on our personal and at the cease of the day we’re being taken benefit of via men.
You see earlier than a man helps a woman he expects something in return. Most of the village women I’m bringing into game tell me “a man introduced me from the village to city promising me a task. But accomplishing there he desired to make his spouse. When I resisted he requested me ‘I’m I your relative? Go again.’
The different mission is that Uganda would not recognize sportswomen; no matter how a lot we warfare no person cares.
The handiest recognition is available in [Uspa] awards, which do not include money. But the award would not place meals on the desk.
Then demoralizing comments. Whenever you attempt to do something, a few humans name it a ‘display off,’ others say ‘it is her boyfriend supporting her.’ And while you fall, they make a laugh of you, and no one will choose your hand up. Generally, I fail to understand what society without a doubt wishes us.
And can a Ugandan sportswoman be a complete woman?
Why not? We most effective want the right help. I strongly trust any Ugandan, any sportswoman can achieve any discipline or aspect of life.
Peninnah Kabenge (sports activities administrator)
I attribute most of the demanding situations to cultural stereotypes. Women have been continuously desired within the kitchen, but we are able to contribute to a lot in all aspects, sports activities inclusive.
That’s why the numbers are still low in the fields of play administrators, officers, and so on. Due to that marginalizing cultural mentality, even women who attempt sports face a problem of lack of secure space. Example if a girls’ group and a boys’ crew are going to use the identical facility at the identical time, of the path the men’ team might be favored at the price of the ladies. Most sports facilities don’t have unique changing rooms for ladies; some girls have dropped out complaining approximately coaches who abuse them, etc.
The press also focuses more on men’s sports. For a woman’s tale to take the back page, the woman ought to have done four times the person.
And can a Ugandan sportswoman be a full woman?
Why now not? We have all the ability to stability duties. Only that we’re constrained via our cultural biases.