The Growing Importance of Women in Portuguese Football and in the Sports Press


  • Marlene Loureiro University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro
  • Joana Alves



Gender, Women, Women's Football, Sports Journalism, Portugal


This study aims to investigate the processes of change in valuing women's participation in the world of football, as well as their recognition by sports journalism. The initial research question was: "What difficulties do women encounter in gaining acceptance in the world of football and in sports journalism in Portugal?". The main objectives were:

1) To analyse the role of women football players in Portugal;

2) To understand the position of women's football in Portugal;

3) To find out how Portuguese sports journalism treats women's football;

4) To investigate the role of communication in publicising women's football in Portugal;

5) To understand the perception of women's football in Portugal.

In order to achieve these objectives, the methodology involves carrying out an exploratory empirical study based on analysing the content of the main Portuguese sports newspapers and applying a questionnaire survey to the Portuguese population in general. The main aim of analysing the sports newspapers is to find out how Portuguese sports journalism treats women's football and how regularly and relevantly women's football is covered in the news. In turn, the questionnaire survey seeks to understand the perception, acceptance and information that the Portuguese population has about women's football.

The results obtained were very enlightening, showing that women's football in Portugal still needs a lot of development and acceptance and that the mass media is blamed for the lack of publicity and promotion of women's football in Portugal, which means that the majority of the population has no knowledge or information about what goes on in women's football. On the other hand, it was also possible to ascertain that there is still a certain stigma regarding women's football, denoting the existence of prejudice and unequal treatment, as reflected in its presence in sports journalism.