Women’s* football an instrument for change
human rights
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-01-2021 - 31-10-2022
Project cost:
25 292,50 EUR
25 000,00 EUR
Types of activities:
educational activities
Target groups:
activists / community leaders, women, professionals

The project responds to the problem of discrimination against girls, women and non-binary people in soccer. These people have limited access not only to soccer, but to sports in general. Cultural messages encouraging women to be physically active focus primarily on appearance and the need to take care of one’s figure. Rarely are women encouraged to play sports for entertainment, self-realization or social bonding. Soccer is a space culturally reserved for cisgender heterosexual men. Women make up only 5% of players, and are even less likely to hold technical or decision-making positions. Less than 10% of women’s clubs employ a female coach, and women make up less than 5% of the board and committees of the Polish Football Association. LGBT+ people are made even more difficult to access in soccer by the prevailing homophobia and transphobia in the sport.

As part of the project, four female coaches completed a course and received a UEFA Grassroots C coaching license. Three editions of the Women’s* Soccer Academy were organized, a total of nearly 80 open soccer training sessions. Female sports coaches and players (including Deaf people) took part in anti-discrimination workshops on preventing exclusion and discrimination in sports. A brochure on standards for speaking and writing about women and LGBT+ people in sports was also developed. At the end of the project, the Grantee organized a conference entitled. “From Behind the Sideline to the Middle of the Field. Feminist-queer practices in sports.”

More than 200 people participated in the trainings. The project benefited people with experience of functioning as women – cisgender, non-binary, transgender and queer – often exposed to multiple discrimination. Conditions were created so that they could start or continue their adventure in soccer. In the third edition, female soccer players were joined by a group of refugee women who left Ukraine because of the war. The female coaches who took part in the training strengthened their sports and anti-discrimination competencies, and were equipped with tools to conduct inclusive training and be leaders of change. Those working in the media were given material to reflect on their own journalistic practice and how media messages about women and LGBT+ people in sports are created, which could be the beginning of changes in the narrative about women’s and LGBT+ sports.

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