Location and general information

Ongoing
Location Argentina
Start date 01/01/2020
End date 12/31/2022
Cost of the project € 315,000
Foundation funding € 143,300
Project identifier 2019062
Partners Women Win

Context

According to Argentina’s Observatory on Femicide, 124 girls were killed in the country between 2008 and 2013 (an average of around 21 a year). The majority of those killings were linked to gender-based violence among young unmarried couples or followed sexual abuse. Poor social status and a lack of access to leadership roles and economic opportunities are both linked to girls feeling powerless and increases in gender-based violence. The use of violence, intimidation and coercion against girls reinforces their subordinate status, takes power out of their hands and limits their opportunities and the decisions they can make for themselves. Early childhood and adolescence are critical periods for interventions aimed at ending this cycle, with football playing a key role in terms of helping Argentinian girls to develop the skills they need to stand up for their rights.

Through football, girls can take on leadership roles and tackle gender stereotypes. Football is a catalyst for the development of leadership skills, giving girls the opportunity to boost their self-esteem and courage. The ripple effects of their experience on the pitch can be observed in all aspects of their lives: footballers take the initiative, speak up and have the courage to take risks; and when they fall, they get back up again. Through football, girls learn to challenge socio-cultural norms and gender stereotypes, both at community level and in wider society. When girls play football, they transcend the limits that society places on them, acquiring skills that will allow them to do the same in other areas of life, such as education and the workplace.

The La Nuestra Football Club project will work with girls from Villa 31, a slum in Buenos Aires that is home to 14,000 girls. Outside their community, those girls are called by the derogatory name ‘villera’, and they face prejudice throughout the city. In addition to Argentinian girls who have moved (either with or without their families) from other parts of the country in search of a better life, Villa 31 is also home to girls from various other countries (including Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru). This project will use football as a means of empowering those girls and encouraging them to exercise their rights.

Project content

Through La Nuestra Football Club, Women Win and its local partner in Villa 31 will use football to develop life skills and empower socially deprived girls, while at the same time combating harmful gender stereotypes and their consequences (gender-based violence, gender pay gaps, lack of female political representation, lack of universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, etc.).

Through football, girls:

  • become physically stronger and healthier and develop greater ownership and understanding of their bodies. If a girl regards her body as her own, she protects it, cherishes it, and demands that it be respected;
  • develop critical life skills that are transferable to other spheres of life, such as teamwork, goal setting, resilience and communication, all through the constant practice that football requires;
  • gain access to a safe space to grow and explore, especially with regard to physical, social and emotional development;
  • connect with peers for social support – a vital reference point and resource for dealing with the challenges associated with growing up;
  • learn from a positive female role model in the form of a female coach or team leader. This provides girls with a caring, supportive mentor to help navigate growing up and inspire a vision of what is possible;
  • explore human differences and connect with others from different classes, races, countries or religions, which in turn promotes mutual respect and a deeper understanding of other people;
  • capture the attention of the community. When girls play in public, they have an instant awareness-raising opportunity to assert their rights within the community. Victories, kits and leadership positions can alter a girl’s status within her community, changing her from a perceived liability to a source of pride;
  • have fun. The opportunity to be distracted from the pressures of growing up is a universal right.

 

Objectives

Year 1

  • Work with local partner on the development of a Girls’ Empowerment Through Football curriculum and programme, to be available in English and Spanish
  • Work with local partner on knowledge exchange in areas such as: leadership and strategy; people and infrastructure; coach development plan and sports facilities; financial management; fundraising and partnerships; communication and networks; training of female coaches; and technical services
  • Train coaches on the Girls’ Empowerment Through Football curriculum
  • Work with local partner on a monitoring and evaluation plan, including the collection of data for Women Win’s international database on girls’ sport
  • Recruit girls to participate in the Girls’ Empowerment Through Football programme and start delivery in partnership with local partner’s coaches

Year 2

  • Recruit new girls to participate in the Girls’ Empowerment Through Football programme and deliver programme in partnership with local partner’s coaches
  • Deliver sessions addressing specific development needs of female coaches, as identified by local partner
  • Work with local partner on knowledge exchange in areas such as: leadership and strategy; people and infrastructure; coach development plan and sports facilities; financial management; fundraising and partnerships; communication and networks; training of female coaches; and technical services
  • Work with local partner on the translation and contextualisation of Women Win’s Girls, Inclusion and Safeguarding self-assessments
  • Help ten Argentinian sports associations and sport for development organisations to identify capacity building needs in relation to the recruitment/retention of girls and child protection and safeguarding
  • Co-design, develop and deliver the Girls, Inclusion and Safeguarding workshop for ten Argentinian sports associations and sport for development organisations

Year 3

  • Recruit new girls to participate in the Girls’ Empowerment Through Football programme and deliver programme in partnership with local partner’s coaches
  • Work with local partner on knowledge exchange in areas such as: leadership and strategy; people and infrastructure; coach development plan and sports facilities; financial management; fundraising and partnerships; communication and networks; training of female coaches; and technical services
  • Work with local partner on the translation and contextualisation of Women Win’s Girls, Inclusion and Safeguarding self-assessments
  • Help ten Argentinian sports associations and sport for development organisations to identify capacity building needs in relation to the recruitment/retention of girls and child protection and safeguarding
  • Co-design, develop and deliver the Girls, Inclusion and Safeguarding workshop for ten Argentinian sports associations and sport for development organisations

Project activities

The La Nuestra Football Club project will use a curriculum in which football drills and matches are intertwined with the teaching of life skills. The girls will play football and have fun, while at the same time boosting their self-esteem and confidence, developing leadership skills, learning about health matters and the environment, and becoming financially literate.

Many of the female coaches working with the local partner are former professional footballers or have coaching qualifications. Women Win will provide the local partner with technical support and other institution strengthening assistance (including training aimed specifically at female coaches) in order to help it become a national point of reference for gender equality and football in Argentina.

Expected results

By the end of the third year, it is expected that:

  • 300 girls will have participated in the Girls’ Empowerment Through Football programme;
  • at least four local coaches will have qualified as ‘master trainers’ for the Girls’ Empowerment Through Football curriculum and programme;
  • at least eight employees of the local partner will have participated in institution strengthening and knowledge sharing workshops, helping it to become a national point of reference for gender equality and football;
  • 20 employees of sports associations and sport for development organisations will have participated in the Girls, Inclusion and Safeguarding workshop;
  • male and female members of the community will have seen the girls playing, challenging gender stereotypes;
  • relatives of girls participating in the Girls’ Empowerment Through Football programme will have been influenced either by seeing the girls playing or through the girls sharing knowledge acquired during the programme.

Partner

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