Women's football is experiencing a renaissance, guided by voices like Fatou Bineto Ba, the regional coordinator in Africa for 27 member associations.
Her insights paint a vivid picture of the sport's global journey, spotlighting its evolution in Africa and reflecting a narrative that resonates from the global stage to nations like Uganda.
Injecting a substantial $62.1 million into women's football, FIFA's Forward Program marks a significant step towards global recognition and support.
Despite thousands of female footballers worldwide, the share of resources and attention to African nations remains a point of contention.
Fatou's voice is a beacon in this landscape: "It is very important when discussing women's football to also look at the bigger picture.
17:58 - 28.01.2024
FOOTBALL A 48 U17 World Cup, national centre excellency; FIFA unveils ambitious plans for grassroots football development
At the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) used the opportunity to hold a one-day workshop where they took journalists through their plans for global development, women’s football and the Talent development scheme.
"That is not around playing football, but also around empowering women and helping them fight against discrimination," Fatou told Pulse Sports before adding.
Her perspective is not just about sport; it's about societal transformation because women's football confronts deep-seated perceptions in some parts of Africa.
"Fatou addresses this head-on: "In some regions in Africa, football is still not seen in a positive way when you find women playing it."
She tackles myths regarding the physical and mental impact of the sport on women, debunking them with a clear message since these are misconceptions, and the reality is far from these beliefs.
"What is important is also transmitting values into women's football," Fatou continues, "empowering them in a way they can know what playing football is the way men are playing football."
She underscores the dual role of football as a source of empowerment and a platform for entertainment, where women can showcase their skills and passion just as their male counterparts do.
However, the path for women in football is fraught with challenges; "The fight that women have to go through to play football is more difficult than the men."
"Because of many stigmas or cultural biases that they should not be playing football because they are women."
14:22 - 27.01.2024
Kawempe are also the only team yet to suffer defeat, winning six and drawing thrice in the process.
There are everyday struggles, from managing menstrual hygiene to balancing emotional and physical well-being, and challenges often overlooked in sports discussions.
"So it is important that we tackle all these issues when it comes to women's football because managing football for women involves addressing a spectrum of issues not typically encountered in the men's game," Fatou asserts
This narrative, crafted from Fatou's insights, offers a comprehensive view of women's football's global and African journey.
It highlights the need for more significant support and understanding in terms of financial investment, cultural acceptance, and infrastructure development.
It's a story that transcends borders, applicable to countries like Uganda and beyond, where every kick, every goal, and every game is a step towards a more inclusive, equitable, and empowered future for women in football.