Football and gender equality at school
Gender violence in Colombia is one of the main issues which arose from years of armed conflict. In 2012, women were the victim of abuse every 30 minutes and sadly, this behaviour is being replicated at schools. Many little girls are victims of physical and psychological abuse from their male peers.
Heidy Ovalle, a sports-loving girl in 9th grade, suffered psychological abuse at her old school when she was 7. She wanted to play on the school football team, but she was not accepted because football was “just for men”.
She explains, “My male classmates always ignored women’s opinions and they never took us into consideration for team decisions. Teachers were not interested in promoting gender equality and I felt powerless.”
In 2007 Heidy’s father decided to enrol her in Anatolí School because he had heard about the quality education there. Today Heidy is part of the female football team who recently won the interschool sports competition in Cundinamarca. Heidy says that teachers at the school encourage gender equality and are mindful of student opinions.
“My favourite subject is sports. I love football and I play as a forward.”
My male classmates always ignored women’s opinions and they never took us into consideration for team decisions. Teachers were not interested in promoting gender equality and I felt powerless.
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