chapter  18
11 Pages

The role and status of Kenyan women in sports

WithJanet Musimbi M’mbaha

This chapter traces the history of Kenyan women in sports during the pre-colonial, colonial, and postcolonial periods. The focus is on socialization, access to resources, leadership positions, and the impact of women in sports on society. Sports are an ever-growing industry with a social, political, and economic impact on the society. The sporting activities prepared children for functional roles in society. As D. M. Branson points out, "one thing has stayed the same: it is women who adjust their lives to accommodate the needs of children, who do what is necessary to make a home, who forego status, income, advancement and independence." Kenyan men have always benefited from being in the international sports limelight; however, it was only in 1968 that Kenyan women participated in the Olympics. The 1990s witnessed the emergence of Kenyan women who were determined to claim their rightful place in the sports to balance indigenous and Western patriarchal notions of gender roles.