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Sana Mahmud

Sana Mahmud

Sana Mahmud is a Fulbright scholar from Pakistan, currently enrolled in the Masters of International Development Studies Program at Ohio University. Her concentration within her field of study is Gender, Sport and Development, along with which she is pursuing a certificate in Women and Gender studies. She completed her undergraduate degree in Social Sciences from Bahria University in Islamabad, Pakistan, during which she was also involved in professional sports. She has had the honor of twice captaining Pakistan’s National Women Football (soccer) Team, and has represented her club and city both in football and basketball at the National and international level. Sana’s own experience as a woman actively involved in sports in Pakistan guided her research interest, and she chose to write her undergraduate research on the “Impact of Sports on the Self- Esteem of Sports women in Pakistan”. She is committed to working for the development of sport in Pakistan for both boys and girls, and concurrently in exploring the ways in which sport can be used as a vehicle for the personal development and empowerment of children, particularly girls.


This study was conducted as part of an undergraduate thesis (unpublished) for a degree in Social Sciences. A mixed method approach was employed and both qualitative and quantitative data was collected and analyzed to understand the importance of sport in the lives of sports women in Pakistan. The selection of participants was narrowed down to include female athletes who played either of two sports i.e. football and basketball at either the semi-professional or professional level of competition. The study was carried out to understand whether sport could play a positive role in helping increase the self-esteem of sports women in Pakistan, which could then be used as rationale to increase investment in sport programs for women and girls. The presentation will focus specifically on qualitative data which provides fascinating case studies and personal insight into the lives of these women, who have indeed become change agents and role models for girls in Pakistan  
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