University of Toronto – Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Disabled women/girls and sports in Africa: Can educational institutions make a difference?
Often times when discussing issues of gender and sports, there is a general tendency to negate the plight of individuals with disabilities. This paper explores the participation of women and girls with disabilities in sports in Africa. Drawing on existing literature, the paper examines the socio-structural factors/obstacles that hinder women and girls with disabilities from effectively participating in sports in Africa. The paper reveals how assumptions of “disability as inability” can undermine the sporting potentials of women/girls with disabilities and goes on to examine the role educational institutions can play in empowering women and girls with disabilities to engage in sports. It also introduces a discussion of and emphasis on how educational institutions could tap into indigenous knowledges and sporting activities to motivate disabled women and girls to engage in sports. It is concluded that schools, colleges, universities together with the government can undertake initiatives to influence and support disabled women and girls to participate in sports like other able-bodied students.