Women’s Football, globally has faced challenges that hamper its growth and threaten its existence. However, there’s a new wind blowing through the world football setting.
Gradually, due to interventions of various well-meaning groups/bodies/associations, the conversation around women’s football has changed from merely discussing challenges to birthing initiatives that foster growth and the expansion of the sport.
Over the years, women’s football in Ghana has been an eyesore. However, that trend is being halted with the ushering in of a new era. This fast-emerging new era sees discussions about women’s football in the country, now dwelling mostly on possibilities and positivism.
And there’s a new driver pushing the agenda during this new era. A person, none other than Ghana’s First Lady, Her Excellency Rebeccah Akuffo-Addo.
Through her activism and powerful statements, Ghana’s First Lady is living up to the ‘Biblical Rebecah’ who stood for kindness, humility and influence. She demonstrates this beautifully in her drive towards changing the narrative about women’s football in Ghana.
The mother of the Nation has extended a much needed helping hand to women’s football in Ghana; at a time when needed the most, thereby paving way for a new conversation to be had concerning driving investment and attention for the women’s game in Ghana.
Her passion to see growth for women’s football in a male dominant field has seen the creation of the novel FIRST LADY’S CUP with the maiden edition kicking off next month
FIRST LADY’S CUP
The First Lady’s Cup is the the female equivalent of the much popular, President’s Cup.
The competition is a brainchild of the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) and its partners and seeks to bring glory and honor to the office of the First Lady of the land through football.
The maiden edition takes place on December 10 and will pit two of Ghana’s best female sides, Hasaacas Ladies FC and Ampem Darkoa Ladies against each other for the ultimate.
The Match will take place at the Accra Sports Stadium and will be graced by several high profile attendees including the First Lady.
Speaking at the launch of the event, the first Lady seized the moment to hammer on the need for a more collaborative effort towards changing the narrative about women’s football.
As Ghana’s first woman of power and clout, Mrs Akuffo-Addo has showed much commitment and investment towards women’s football advancement, therefore setting the pace for others to follow.
She mentioned that the First Lady’s Cup competition “ushers in a new Era for women’s football in Ghana”.
Madam Rebecca Akuffo-Addo further noted that, the recent development around women’s football in Ghana demonstrates that “our women have given us enough to believe that given the needed support, they can bring glory to Ghana”.
The First Lady’s vision for growth for Women’s Football as eloquently disclosed during the launch of the First Lady’s Cup is to ensure there is an enabling platform and solid foundations laid for the growth of the game in Ghana and across the continent.
Drawing inspiration from CAF’s strategy to shape the future of women’s football across the continent, the first Lady believes the time to go full throttle to ensure a positive change in how women’s football is treated is now.
Her Vision Outline for Women’s Football include:
1) Empowering the Girl Child and Women in Ghana through soccer
2) Increasing income and other financial benefits for women footballers.
3) Giving Women Footballers and Clubs an upgraded profile both on and off the pitch to ensure deals with corporate Ghana for pro bono business development services
4) More infrastructural growth to ensure the game is more accessible and well enjoyed.
5) Provision of football equipment to support women footballers
6) Setting up of a first ever Women’s Soccer School of Excellence in West Africa to train female coaches and other staff. This is to help build capacity for women involved in the running of the game
7) GHALCA should have a dedicated vice-chairperson position for a female involved in women’s football
These are the 7 pillars on which the First Lady wants Women’s Football in Ghana to be built on.
In conclusion, the First Lady has taken the first bold step and that should pave the way for other persons of power to influence the positive change for women’s Football in Ghana.