MJAS in collaborated with HAQ (Centre for Child Rights, Delhi), with the support of the Australian High Commission, mobilised girls ages 10-18 to play football.
The objective was to use sports, in particular football, seen as a ‘male sport’ to break gender norms and help girls move beyond their family confines, take greater control over their bodies, be able to better negotiate their own aspirations and ultimately prevent their own early marriage, as well as those of others.
About the programme
This programme also encourages married girls to step out of their traditional roles of daughter-in-law, wife and mother. Initially it took several meetings, dialogues and activities with the girls and their families to persuade them to participate and support the football programme. Gradually, many parents and community leaders extended their support to this programme. Now many school authorities, teachers and physical training teachers support the project. This programme has already seen significant social change in the lives of these girls and in the prevailing attitudes in their villages. Today, they continue their personal and leadership development while chiselling their football skills. They are also exploring the possibility of pursuing coaching and other livelihood options. Originally, it was proposed that 60 girls from four villages each be targeted as participants but the count was extended due to a favourable response from the girls.