It has been estimated that approximately 70 per cent of those living in poverty around the world are women and girls (Mohanty 2003). At the same time, international development scholars contend that ‘women are increasingly seen, by men as well as women, as active agents of change; the dynamic promoters of social transformation who can alter the lives of both women and men’ (Sen 2000: 189). In an attempt to build on the ‘promise’ of women as agents of development and to lessen the dire consequences of poverty, there has been increasing interest in sport for development interventions that specifically target women and girls in the Two-Thirds World1 by the private sector, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (e.g. Kidd 2008; Mwaanga 2005; Nike Foundation 2008). While boys and men in the Two-Thirds World are also disadvantaged in terms of sports

participation, it is well known that the participation levels of girls and women are lower in countries around the world due to various historical, cultural, economic and geopolitical influences that reflect power relations based on class, race, gender, sexuality and nation (Swiss Academy for Development and Cooperation 2008). As a result, girls and women have less access to the potential benefits of participation which are, when fully realised, considered to help overcome the problems historically associated with sport such as exclusion (e.g. due to gender, class and/ or racial discrimination, injury, hyper-masculinity, homophobia, violence and abuse) (Kidd 2008; Saavedra 2005, 2009). We argue that sport does have a potential role to play in promoting health and other benefits while lessening power imbalances, as implied in the opening quote by Lombe Annie Mwambwa from Africa, but only if the numerous problems associated with it are not imported from the One-Third World in a colonizing manner. As Darnell (2007: 565) argues, the dominant sport for development discourse describes sport as ‘integrative, apolitical and transcendent’. This draws attention away from the potential for sport to be what Cannella and Manuelito (2008: 48) call a new form of colonialism, or another type of Eurocentric and North American error, where dominant patriarchal market forces are used to justify the further

economic marginalization of women in the Two-Thirds World (e.g. due to their child-bearing roles and lack of access to education) and legitimize imports from the One-Third World without allowing for local input and cultural adaptation. Despite increased attention to sport, gender and development, sports feminists have largely

ignored the literature on international development, whereas studies on sport for development typically fail to address gender, although there are some notable exceptions (e.g. Brady 2005; Hargreaves 1997; Kay, 2009; Larkin 2007; Saavedra 2005, 2009). The application of new or existing theories is needed to account for the negative effects of global capitalism along with the historical legacies of colonization that contribute to poverty and other social problems, including problems tied to sport. In this way, theory becomes inextricably linked to action and can become a tool for promoting transformation and social justice in ways that generate new insights (Frisby et al. 2009). Yet caution must be exercised when challenging entrenched social orders because, as Saavedra (2005: 1) warns: ‘female involvement in sport is often a transgression that needs to be explained, encouraged, prevented, or managed, but somehow is not “natural”.’ As a result, there can be serious risks for girls and women who challenge patriarchy through their involvement in sport and these risks must be carefully taken into account. The theory that we will begin to explore in this chapter is postcolonial feminism which

represents an anti-colonial approach to social science research (Cannella and Manuelito 2008). Postcolonialism refers to ways of critiquing both the material and discursive legacies of colonialism (McEwan 2001). Feminism shares an emphasis on unmasking dominant knowledge claims and how social systems perpetuate injustices, but draws particular attention to how gender intersects with other forms of oppression.While there are many different types of feminist theory, postcolonial feminism critiques Western forms that disregard the different cultural and historical experiences and structural locations of those living outside the One-Third World (McEwan 2001; Mohanty 2003; Spivak 1988). A helpful departure point for considering postcolonial theory more broadly is to address the

significance of the hyphen that is sometimes used between ‘post’ and ‘colonial’ to denote different historical periods. Some scholars argue that the hyphen represents a period after colonialism, as post means ‘past’, therefore suggesting that colonialism and its impacts have ‘definitively terminated’ (Hall 1996: 243). However, although formal decolonization has taken place in many TwoThirds World countries, these regions are still reeling from the impacts. In addition, many scholars argue that the Two-Thirds world has more recently been re-colonized through processes of global capitalism, commonly referred to as neocolonialism (Li 2007; Saul 2008). As we are not referring to specific time periods in this chapter, we will use the more common version of the terms postcolonial and neocolonial without the hyphen. Postcolonial feminism is concerned with both the recent impacts of global capitalism, the historical effects of different forms of patriarchy and colonization, and how all of this affects lived experiences (McEwan 2009; Mohanty 2003). The goal of this chapter is to illustrate the value of postcolonial feminism by discussing two of

its key themes and applying them to EduSport and its Go Sisters initiative, a sport for development programme in Africa. By taking this approach, we hope to combat one of the critiques of postcolonial feminism that it ‘cannot be easily translated on the ground’ (McEwan 2001: 102). To briefly contextualize our analysis, we first elaborate on the sport, gender and development movement. We then identify two key themes of postcolonial feminism and apply them to the EduSport case. In the concluding section, we briefly identify other themes that could be further explored and provide a critique of postcolonial feminism given that our aim is to explore and open up further discussion, rather than present a postcolonial feminist approach as a panacea. In this way, we hope to offer a starting point for envisioning new approaches not only to research and knowledge production, but also to international development policy making and practice.

In order to understand the interrelationships between sport, gender and development, it is crucial to briefly contextualize the ways gender has been considered in international development. Originating in the 1970s, the gender and development movement was conceptualized as ‘Women in Development’ (WID), and initiated various international conferences to promote the recognition of women’s paid and unpaid work. The momentum behind this movement continued to build in 1976, when the United Nations declared the commencement of the decade for women, resulting in the integration of gender issues into various social policy arenas including sport. While the decade proved useful for addressing many of the issues identified through the application of feminist theory, many fundamental issues were ignored (Chen 1995). Central problems with the WID framework were that it failed to sufficiently challenge hierarchies of class, race and patriarchy (e.g. where women are seen as being inferior to men in various realms of life) (Jennissen and Lundy 2001; Larkin 2007). In the 1980s a new approach known as ‘Gender and Development’ (GAD) emerged and its

main tenets were to integrate considerations of gender into all international development initiatives (Jackson 1998). The shift in terminology from women to gender was meant to imply that women alone are not responsible for their situations or for social change, and that additional circumstances must be considered when determining oppression. This approach also emphasized the ‘empowerment’ of women as a prerequisite for development, but a central problem was the implication that ‘people with power can and will give it to people without it’ (Smillie 1996: 81). In this way, GAD failed to account either for women’s oppression as a product of colonial and neocolonial power relations or for their active agency in resisting them (Larkin 2007; Mohanty 2003). Similar discourses of empowerment are enmeshed in the current development policy agenda. Another critique of the current development ideology, particularly from a feminist perspective,

challenges the implicit Western assumption of ‘saving others’ in the Two-Thirds World. This poses implications for us as authors of this chapter, as we are white, middle class, Western academics writing about gender in an international development and sports context. Our aim is not to set out an agenda that attempts to ‘empower’ or ‘save’ or ‘speak for’ others. Yet, we do select particular voices from the few available to us in the EduSport case to illustrate the importance of ‘having a voice’, which certainly points to some of the messy contradictions in applying the theory. Still, we seek to begin a discussion of a theoretical framework that overcomes some of the patronizing and colonizing assumptions underpinning traditional approaches to sports research and development. As Abu-Lughod (2002: 789) aptly points out, ‘projects of saving other women depend on and reinforce a sense of superiority by Westerners, a form of arrogance that deserves to be challenged’. Postcolonial feminism provides a lens for questioning how underlying relations of neocolonial power, notions of salvation and solidarity are embedded in research and Two-Thirds/One-Third World relations. From the mid 1970s onwards, several pertinent gender equity campaigns were formed and

position statements issued in Western-based countries to promote the participation of girls and women in sport (Larkin 2007). For example, the Brighton Declaration in 1994 marked an important step in creating women’s sports organizations, such as the International Working Group on Women and Sport, subsequently leading to increased lobbying efforts and sports participation (International Working Group on Women and Sport 1994). According to Saavedra (2005), advancements made within the women in sport movement influenced the official gender and development movement, as evidenced by the fact that women in sport were mentioned in the Beijing Platform for Action (United Nations 1995). However, these campaigns

were problematic as they mostly ignored women’s experiences in sport in the Two-Thirds World (Hargreaves 1999, 2004). Various researchers have demonstrated that sport is a useful tool for contributing to gender

and development in various ways, particularly as a means of enhancing girls’ and women’s health and well-being, facilitating their self-esteem and self-empowerment, fostering social inclusion and social integration, challenging and transforming gender norms, educating women and girls about HIV/AIDS prevention, and providing them with opportunities for leadership and achievement (Larkin 2007; Nicholls and Giles 2007; Saavedra, 2005; Willis 2000). Yet, Saavedra (2005) cautions sport and gender development organizers and policy makers to be concerned about safety (e.g. particularly with sexual violence in sport), competing obligations (e.g. gendered divisions of labour creates heavy demands on women’ and girls’ time for leisure) and confronting gender and sexuality norms (e.g. by not over-emphasizing femininity and masculinity to offset fears of homosexuality). These points of contention underscore the importance of using a postcolonial feminist lens to explore how international development practitioners may (or may not) be actively confronting norms and processes that disadvantage girls and women in sport.