Adolescent Girl Life Skill: Understanding and exercising rights
General Adolescent Life Skills: Decision Making and Evaluating Future Consequences of Present Actions for Self and Others
Girls often do not have access to valuable information concerning their rights, how to exercise them and where to go if those rights are being violated. Sport programmes can be excellent places to gain that missing access and build understanding. Through the guidance of knowledgeable coaches and the support of their teammates, girls can explore through their own perspective what is important to them and what channels to go through to demand and access those rights. Sport programmes can reach girls who are not in school, in rural areas and in communities where girls are not getting the correct information and may not even know if their rights are being violated. These rights include but are not limited to the right for education, to live a life free from gender-based violence and abuse, and the right to have access to health care and decision making regarding sexual health and reproductive rights.
It is also important to note that coaches and facilitators themselves might need to be educated about what rights girls are afforded in their countries and internationally. Before approaching and attempting to educate girls, make sure that all the coaches and facilitators are on the same page, are aware of laws in your particular country or community, and are aware of international women’s rights and children’s rights statutes and conventions, so they can properly relay the information and help girls ask for and protect their rights. This can often be challenging in countries and communities where girls’ rights are violated. Properly train coaches to speak confidently and know where they can link to, such as external organisations or agencies, which can support girls and fight the violation of their rights. Also, coaches should approach parents and caregivers as well, educating them on supporting their daughters.