Can ‘Tanzania Ladies First’ be a Trigger for Female Athletes to Continue in Sport?

  • #Other Publications and Papers

In Tanzania, the gender gap in sports participation remains largely due to socio-cultural and economic influences, partly due to the transition to a market economy and the Ujamaa policy. One of the reasons for lower participation of women compared with men is that many girls give up continuing with sport after primary school. In this situation, the Tanzania Ladies First (LF), a national sports competition exclusively for women, has been held since 2017. In this paper, a questionnaire survey and random interviews were conducted with selected and non-selected athletes for Tanzanian LF, and their parents to examine the role of the LF in the continuation of elite female athletes’ sport by using a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative analysis. This paper found that participation in LF boosts subsequent continuation in sport. On the other hand, in the context of the transition to a market economy, this paper shows that LF may have fixed social and economic structures that allow only a few elite women athletes to continue in sport, rather than expanding women's participation in sport, which runs counter to the spirit of LF. This paper suggests that in the context of a market economy, it will be necessary to promote national awareness of LF to a wider audience and media to make LF more attractive to women and private companies. This paper also recommends the introduction of life skills training through sport for female students to encourage them to continue with sport after leaving school.

Mitsuaki Furukawa
Date of issuance
November 2023
Forum for Development Studies
Number of pages
21 page
Related areas
  • #Africa
Research area
Development Cooperation Strategies
Research project