Limit Sensitive Discussions

There are some discussion topics, such as health, gender roles, communication, leadership and economic empowerment, for which it can be beneficial to share with mixed-gender groups. However, there are others, such as sexuality, abuse and menstruation, which should only be discussed in a woman-only environment. The type of subjects that are “sensitive” depends on culture, context and level of trust between boys and girls. These important conversations might not be happening in school or at home, however, and both girls and boys can benefit from factual education and a safe space to explore sensitive issues. These sensitive conversations are often more productive in single-sex environments, where children can feel free to talk openly, ask questions and insert personal experiences into conversations. The presence of members of the opposite sex can inhibit this freedom and even make girls more shy about opening up, as girls fear being judged. Furthermore, caregivers and community leaders can quickly become sceptical of a sport programme’s intent when boys and girls are addressing these sometimes culturally taboo subjects together.