Barriers to Sport Participation Faced by Ethiopian and Eritrean Migrant Women in Switzerland

Alemu, Betelihem Brehanu; Nagel, Siegfried; Vehmas, Hanna (2021). Barriers to Sport Participation Faced by Ethiopian and Eritrean Migrant Women in Switzerland. Italian Sociological Review, 11(5S), pp. 673-690. Quiedit 10.13136/isr.v11i5S.477

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Global migration (both forced and voluntary) has intensified the interaction
between existing and emerging cultures. Sport has gained recognition as an effective
tool for enhancing migrants’ overall wellbeing, active participation, and social
integration. However, a growing number of studies have shown that migrant women
have the lowest rate of sport participation, especially in organized clubs. These findings
have brought the accessibility and inclusion of existing sport structure and culture in
host countries into question. Using the six-factor model of constraints by Tsai and
Coleman (1999), this study explored the barriers that hinder Ethiopian and Eritrea
migrant women (EEMW) from participating in sport in Switzerland. Thematic analysis
(Braun et al., 2016) was applied to analyze semi-structured interviews and focus group
discussions (n=12, 18-51 years old) to understand the interplay between barriers to
sport participation and their influence on social integration. The study found that socio-
cultural differences from the host community, discrimination, the high cost of sport
participation, and structural barriers were influential factors hindering the participation
of EEMW. Thus, interactive sport participation among EEMW must be promoted by
supportive, multicultural settings to better integrate these women into Swiss society.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Sociology and Management

UniBE Contributor:

Alemu, Betelihem Brehanu, Nagel, Siegfried


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment








Edith Desideria Imthurn

Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2022 16:31

Last Modified:

22 May 2023 10:13

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Ethiopian and Eritrean migrant women, migration, sport participation, barriers, social integration, Switzerland




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