Understanding And Overcoming Challenges

Around the world, girls and women face unique challenges to participating in sport. These challenges are personal, practical, economic, political and cultural. In Pakistan, the lack of private space where girls can compete without being seen by men is an obstacle. In Zimbabwe, girls are expected to dance, while football is reserved for men.

In order to create a successful sport programme for girls, leaders must first be aware of the challenges. Understanding potential obstacles leads to the development of positive, sustainable strategies. The most important step to understanding the obstacles girls in a specific region face is to go out in the community and ask parents and leaders their thoughts on girls playing sport. Below are the challenges faced by Women Win partner organisations and suggestions for how to design a programme that overcomes them.

Appropriate Sport Apparel

Many societies impose constraints on what is considered appropriate attire for girls. In tradition-bound and religious societies, expectations often include modest dress, often...

Fields and Facilities

In economically disadvantaged communities, especially in urban areas, there is a lack of sufficient spaces to engage in sport. Compounding the issue of limited resources is the...

Economic Constraint

Girls from economically disadvantaged backgrounds can find the costs associated with equipment, transportation and competition unrealistic for their families. Additionally,...

Scheduling

Girls, especially those living in poverty, are often responsible for assisting in caretaking at home, including watching children, doing chores, cooking and cleaning1. In addition...

Personal Safety

There are few girls who have never feared for their own safety. Across the globe, in urban and rural environments, girls walk home from school with the risk of being robbed, raped...

Female Role Models

If a girl has never seen women participating in sport, it will be virtually impossible for her to imagine playing herself. Similarly, if she sees a woman training to be a doctor,...

Gaining Government Support

Sport is a government-sponsored and regulated institution at local, provincial and national levels in many countries. In some places, sport exists almost solely within the context...

Media Coverage

The media plays a pivotal role in showing, or hiding, the images of strong, healthy women athletes who can serve as role models for younger girls. Girls derive their sense of self...

Religion

Sometimes religion is used by conservative societies and institutions to prevent females from participating in sport. These religious groups within society misinterpret or use...

Prejudices And Misconceptions

Many cultures consider sport to be a male domain.1 Despite the increase of women athletes at all levels, from grassroots activities to the Olympic Games, girls are often barred...

Body Image

A girl’s perception of her own body and her relationship with her body image can influence if she feels confident or comfortable enough to play sport. In many societies, beauty is...
Understanding And Overcoming Challenges | Women Win Guides

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