2010 FIFA WOrld Cup: Gender, Politics and Sport


Date: February 27, 2011
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The euphoria of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa seems to persist, albeit as faded, scraggy remnants of flags hanging precariously on aerials and the side view mirrors of cars. The cacophony around this event has died. Shakira has left the stage. However the debate about the gendered impact of the FIFA World Cup still remains. This special issue of Agenda, maps out some of the key features of the debate, as we question whether women’s perception in sport has been significant and whether international sporting events can make a substantive difference in women’s lives.

The joy, elation and fervour of the movement seemed to be epitomised in the effervescent, omnipresent buzz of the vuvuzela. It seemed that, for a moment, the FIFA World Cup has helped us realise “A better life for all”. But did the 2010 FIFA World Cup realise the promise of development for all in a substantive way? And can we look to these mega celebrations of masculine prowess in international sports in future, to impel economics and social development, and recognise the rights of the most vulnerable sectors of our population? This issue questions the gender impact of the FIFA World Cup and its benefits and consequences for marginalised sectors of South African women. We ask what difference the 2010 World Cup event has made in the lives of women sex workers, informal women street vendors and for raising the profile of women’s sport. We use the FIFA World Cup as the organising trope, to reflect critically on a number of gendered developmental issues in South Africa.


ISBN: 1013-0950
Publisher: Agenda
Edition: Issue 85
Year of Publication: 2010

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