Politics of gender in sports administration and leadership in Zambia

  • Mbale G Tamela Kwame Nkrumah University
  • Madalitso K Banja University of Zambia
Keywords: Access to opportunities, gender, gender stereotyping, male domination, sports administration and leadership


This was a phenomenological study aimed at investigating experiences of women in sports management and leadership in Zambia given the limited numbers of women in sports administration and leadership positions. Thus, this study sets to find out the reasons for the low rate of female involvement in sports administration and leadership in Zambia. This involved finding out roles played by females in administration and leadership of sports, difficulties that they face and how they mitigate the challenges faced. Purposive sampling involved 13 coaches, 8 physical educators, and 20 sports administrators. Semi-structured interviews and documentary studies were used to collect data from participants. Findings indicate that the sports industry was male-dominated. Female sports leaders faced challenges including gender stereotyping, lack of education and other capacity-building opportunities and lack of gender-sensitive policies that impeded women from taking up administrative and leadership roles. Governments and their agencies should implement policies to provide access to opportunities like educational programmes, ensure a safe environment for females and promoting the appointment of females to senior positions in sports.