Girls & Football South Africa: Identity Workshop

 
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Dec 21, 2012

GIrls & Football SA Report Identity Dec '12

Thank you so much for your all your contributions! Through your donations, we have been able to carry out a series of workshops on Identity: Girls vs Boys. We are so grateful for your support and wanted to share with you how we worked with girls in South Africa on re-shaping traditional gender norms and ways in which to challenge these roles. 

In South Africa, patriarchy still reigns and men are seen as dominant figures, whether in a household, a community or in an institutional setting. Girls and women face stereotypes; often encouraged by those identifying them as caretakers or as domestic figures. By motivating girls to trust in their capacities outside of these pre established gender roles, they are able to explore other, perhaps more productive, options in their community and in their future.

As a result, Girls & Football SA carried out a series of workshops that encourage participants to understand that physical differences in female versus male bodies doesn’t mean boys are more important, more intelligent or ‘better’ at sport. The participants learn that girls and boys should be treated equally, and that being strong and enjoying games or work traditionally allocated to boys, doesn’t make them any “less of a girl”. To ensure a gender balance, the workshop also highlights that boys should be able to perform in traditionally female roles.

We carried out a series of workshops at an all-girls’ tournament in Pretoria, South Africa. The tournament was held at Prestige College in Hammanskraal Gauteng. There were 3 local club teams if approximately of 15 players per team, in addition to a visiting team from Sweden. The age group ranged from 11-19. For the first time, we introduced role play activities that encouraged the girls to explore gender roles on a more in-depth level. 

Through these role plays, we worked to encourage girls to understand that the different stereotypes created by society can always be broken, and consequently by breaking them, the workshop ensures girls have the courage to further their dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, an engineer or a doctor; roles traditionally filled by men. Opening the discussion around gender identity allows girls to understand there are no set rules and that they can explore their own boundaries. 

Without your support, we would not have been able to carry out this work. We are immensely grateful for all your donations! Thank you for your support, and we wish you a fantastic year-end.

Kind regards, 

The Girls & Football SA Team 

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