Special requirements and incentives
Special requirements for women's activities
- Women are often obliged to perform certain household tasks or to care for others, which means it is important to plan activities for women at a suitable time. The early evening hours - often devoted to sports - are probably unsuitable for women with household duties or who care for others.
- With a view to safety, it is important to choose a sports location that can be reached easily and safely. It is also important to think about adult supervision of sport for girls.
- It must be considered whether the type of clothing usually worn for sports - shorts and shirt - is indeed suitable. It may be that only long pants or even skirts and headscarves are felt to be the most appropriate. This depends on local customs.
- Involving girls through physical education at school is effective. At school, girls can be reached easily and what is more, the school is regarded as a relatively safe environment, also for girls. Sport participation by girls can be increased fairly easy via physical education classes. And sport at school can even attract girls to school (see the Unicef project in Kenya).
- Using female role models in demonstration matches is felt to be a powerful way of increasing sports participation by women and girls. Additionally it may lead to men/parents/leaders taking a more positive view towards girls playing sports.
Incentives for participation
Incentives are needed to involve women and girls in sports activities (Van Kampen, Gender, sport en ontwikkelingssamenwerking, 2001). Examples of incentives are:
- Male and female course leaders: course leaders are role models. This means it is very important to involve women as course leaders in every course.
- 'Local heroes': if self-assured/well-known women are involved in coaching sessions, events and other sports activities, it can give girls and women self-respect and encourage them to take part in sports activities.
- Parent session: it is important to explain to parents what the project intends to achieve through sports activities for women and girls. This can dispel the resistance of older generations.
- Media attention: coverage in local newspapers and on local radio of female sport achievements and/or events. This offers huge encouragement to other girls and women to take part in sport and promotes awareness in the community.
- Registration: women can register for competitions with no time restraint, while registration for men closes at a certain moment.
- Sport participation free of charge: sports activities for women need to be free of charge, because many women have no access to financial means. However, they could be asked to do something in return to show their commitment. MYSA asks participants to carry out activities that have value for the community (such as cleaning up rubbish in residential neighbourhoods).
- A variety of sports: for many people, football has a masculine connotation. This can curb the enthusiasm of women and girls to take part in sport (football). Offering other sports can have a positive effect on participation by women as well as on acceptance by the community.