The Resilience of Africa’s Top Female Football Players
Facing nonexistent funding, social suspicion, and expectations of continued domestic obligations, many female football players across the African continent have endured challenges far greater than their male counterparts for the love of the game. Where men’s teams have been able to rely on state support and a long history of social sanctioning, women’s teams have had to resort to informal networks and social media to drum up the support necessary to enable them to compete, all while facing sanctioning of the opposite sort: underinvestment, disparagement, and insults about their gender and sexuality. The Guardian profiled a number of the competitors in this year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, revealing the divide in opportunity for women and men and burgeoning signs of progress in the continent’s most popular sport.
“Skilled, determined and broke: Africa’s female football pioneers” (The Guardian)
(Image Credit: Andy Clark/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)
Violent police response to protests by Anglophone Cameroonians leaves at least four dead
- The killings took place when security forces fired live rounds in the air at a local market in Bamenda, the country’s second-largest Anglophone city.
- Anglophone Cameroonians have demonstrated in recent weeks over perceptions of second-class status across issues including the dominant use of French in schools, police brutality, and unequal distribution and application of resources.
- Cameroon’s bilingual administrative structure—a result of the colonial period when the country was split between Britain and France—has marginalized Anglophone Cameroonians, largely clustered in only two of the country’s ten administrative regions.
“Cameroon urged to investigate deaths amid anglophone protests” (The Guardian)
“Bamenda protests: Mass arrests in Cameroon” (BBC)
“Mass protests in Cameroon are exposing the fragility of its dual French-English system” (Quartz)
(Image Credit: Reuters, via The Guardian)
The Weaponized Girls of Boko Haram
As Boko Haram’s successes in northeastern Nigeria have been rolled back, the extremist group’s attentions have turned elsewhere in the region, including neighboring Cameroon. Rare in other global terrorist activity, female suicide bombers between 14 and 24 years of age have formed the lion’s share of suicide attacks in Cameroon, comprising some 80% of incidents. Female suicide bombers have also been deployed in Nigeria, most recently in Maiduguri. Reuters investigates the pipeline from abduction to sexual slavery to suicide attacks that women captured by Boko Haram have found themselves caught up in.
“Weakened Boko Haram sends girl bombers against Cameroon civilians” (Reuters)
“Video: The war against Boko Haram’s suicide bombers in Cameroon” (France24)
“Nigeria mosque hit by Maiduguri suicide bombers” (BBC)
(Image Credit: Joe Penney/Reuters)