Empowering Communities

Sport is an effective platform for influencing social change at the community (including family) level as well. To start, girls’ participation in a sport programme often requires negotiation of rights at home – as her participation is often breaking gender norms within a family or community. Furthermore, many girl-centred rights-based sport programmes use the power of sport to attract and engage the community in outreach meetings, events or campaigns. This often serves as a place to inform and mobilise the community on a wide range of issues affecting girls and women in their daily lives. Adolescent girls are encouraged to take a leadership role in creating and implementing these outreach events or campaigns. Women Win believes this creates a powerful multiplier effect at a family/community level. This effect might take place in several ways:

Sport can change community attitudes.
• The family members and community who see adolescent girls participate in sport will break stereotypes and change their perception of what they believe a girl can and cannot do. Attitudes and practices regarding adolescent girls’ right to participation in public space, education, sport, employment, etc. will slowly change.

Sport can help disseminate information.
• The information and knowledge that the adolescent girls gather through the sport programme is information that they will share with their family and friends. The outreach events organised by the programme will also reach out to the wider community and will enhance their understanding and knowledge around the three key areas of benefits.

Sport can provide resources to a community.
• Enhanced access to resources for the adolescent girls in the programme will also enhance (directly/indirectly) the access of their family members and friends to these resources. Health centres and services, financial institutions, economic training, or community development organisations are more accessible because people learn about them through the participants.