JICA Ogata Research Institute

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The Effect of National Sports Events on Women and Gender in Sports in Juba, South Sudan

The purpose of this article is twofold: first, to understand the reality of gender disparities in sport in South Sudan, which has not been fully understood; and second, to examine the effects of sporting event interventions, such as whether they can improve gender disparities in sport. In order to achieve the research objectives, quantitative household surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted with Juba citizens before and after the national sporting event held in Juba in 2020. Regarding the reality of gender disparities in sport in Juba, contrary to expectations, we found that more than 75 per cent of men and more than half of women play sports in Juba. However, a breakdown by sport shows that the sports actually played and participation rates are highly skewed by gender; men for football and women for volleyball. Furthermore, it was found that the national sport event intervention increases the probability of playing sport and the number of days playing sport for women more than for men. These findings suggest that the more sport events can be held, the more gender disparities in sport can be improved in South Sudan. In South Sudan, where patriarchy persists, the results show that increasing women's participation in sport may not only reduce gender disparities, but may also entail a change in the traditional social norm to date that women should focus only on childcare and housework.

The paper was published on the website of Forum for Development Studies.

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