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Stories/Op-Ed

Right To Play – Transforming The Lives of Women Through Sport

Every minute, Right To Play transforms the life of a girl through the power of play, empowering her to lead change in her life, family, community and the world.  On International Women’s Day, the organization is proud to support women everywhere. Women around the world are making strides towards equality every day, but it will still take more than 200 years to achieve full gender equality.

Right To Play works in some of the hardest places to be a girl. They have developed thousands of games to promote inclusion and support the rights of every child, breaking down the barriers that hold girls back. Their approach empowers girls to be champions of their own rights and bodies, and helps boys and communities understand the value and importance of gender equality. The various programs they offer are to empower girls to develop self-esteem, confidence, decision-making, resisting peer-pressure and encourage positive masculinity by teaching conflict resolution, communication, expressing feelings, and challenging traditional gender roles.

The affects Right To Play has had on women and girls are felt globally. In Northern Lebanon, a twenty-two-year-old woman felt a fire burning in her to engage in sport, where football is seen exclusively as a boys’ and men’s sport. Asmaa signed up for the Sports and Humanitarian Aid project with Right To Play, which engaged her sport and taught her leadership. “Having the same right as boys to participate in this project showed me I am worthy,” says Asmaa. “It taught me teamwork, self-development, respect, communication and trust. And having the freedom to play proved I can overcome personal challenges, like living in a refugee camp. My freedom isn’t where I live, it is how I feel inside. This made me feel very motivated to pass on what I had learned to the community; to encourage girls and women to participate in sports.”

 

After the project, Asmaa has been active in her community, meeting with parents and sharing awareness about children’s rights and the benefits of girls and women participating in sport. Asmaa said, “The young women are learning to be confident and respectful with each other; to act like leaders. The parents saw this and started to understand the powerful, learning-impact soccer has.”

 

With the help of Right To Play, young women like Asmaa are changing their communities for the better. With your support, Right To Play can help more girls lead not just on International Women’s Day, but every day.

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