Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) often need a different set of skills than boys to thrive in this world. A sport programme can be the perfect place to learn and practice skills that can contribute to gender equity in the home and workplace. UNICEF defines life skills as knowledge, attitudes and the ability for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the challenges of everyday life.
With a focus on AGYW, Women Win defines these core “skills” as any tool that supports the growth and healthy development of an adolescent girl outside of sport, such as body awareness, financial savviness, or self-confidence.
In many countries around the world, girls drop out of school earlier than boys. They are often confined to specific areas of their community deemed suitable or appropriate, and don’t have the same opportunities in forming networks and learning skills valuable for their development. Sport provides a platform where girls can engage in skill learning, make valuable connections, and create a network of supporters.
The Leadership and Economic Empowerment Guide highlights how skills, and in particular transferable life and livelihood skills, can be embedded within sport programmes to enable girls to start their own businesses, find a job, or go back to school and finish their education.
Progressive skill building integrated across various peer leadership levels within an organisation, and taking place over the course of several years, provides girls with the opportunity to develop and practice the key personal and professional skills that will prepare them for livelihoods of their own choosing.