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In Iran, a Women’s Soccer Revolution

By: Bill Spindle; Originally Posted on The Wall Street Journal 

Women, and women’s sports, still face stiff winds of resistance in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hard-liners supported by the highest echelons of government oppose women even watching the country’s most popular sport, much less playing it in public. But quietly, there is something of a women’s soccer revolution going on here. And one of its leaders, of all people, is an Iranian-American. Read More...

When #GirlsCan Play, Everybody Wins!

By: Brittany Tatum, Women Deliver

Since the start of the seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup on 5 June in Canada, there has been a definite buzz around women in sports. Much of the conversation has been targeted towards the lack of coverage and funding women’s sports receives on a global scale. Women Deliver knows the positive ripple effect that occurs when the world invests in girls – an investment that must include access to sport.

Sports programs provide a safe space where girls can learn, grow, and prosper. Even more, sport programs can serve as a powerful platform to connect girls and adolescents with vital information, skills, and strategies needed to tackle health risks and creative positive changes in their lives, particularly related to sexual and reproductive health. Read More...

#GirlsCan Campaign Kicks Off with FIFA Women’s World Cup to Empower Girls in Sports

By Marinella Matejcic; Originally posted on Global Voices 

As the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada started kicked off on June 6, a number of organizations joined forces in launching the #GirlsCan advocacy campaign. Women Deliver, UNICEF, Right to Play, GAIN and One Goal are using the FIFA as a backdrop to raise awareness of how sports can positively influence girls’ lives and call for more research and funding for girls’ sports. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Girls Can Realize Their Power Through Sports

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

The Women’s Sports Foundation strives to make every girl active and healthy. And we know that when we invest in women’s health, everyone wins. Their mission is one we at Women Deliver support wholeheartedly – “To advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity." Founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Girls on the Run for a Better World

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Running will always be yours,” my Cross Country coach told me back in high school. “Anytime, anywhere you are, you can lace up your shoes and go.” In my own life, I’ve seen firsthand how running on a cross country team transformed me from a quiet, insecure girl to one with confidence, purpose, and a sense of peace. Running helped me to manage stress, and left me feeling proud of what I could accomplish with just my own two feet. Read more...

 

 

Getting Girls in the Game – And What it Can Mean for Development

By: Katja Iversen, CEO, Women Deliver and Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager, Women Deliver; Published by the Center for Global Health and Diplomacy

Girls playing sports is not about winning gold medals. It’s about self-esteem, learning to compete, and learning how hard you have to work in order to achieve your goals.
-Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympian and Former Track and Field World Champion

Right after Nawal El Moutawakel crossed the finish line in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1984 Olympics, the King of Morocco called to speak with her. Nawal was astonished as the King told her how proud he was.  She indeed made history that day, as the first Moroccan athlete – and the first Muslim female athlete – to win an Olympic gold medal. “As a hurdler, I’m used to jumping barriers,” she told The Olympic Review. “Now these barriers are coming down in other countries because I showed Muslim women a wider horizon.” Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Ghanian Girl Soccer Stars Change the Playing Field

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

When Eunice, Christiana, Francesca and Rose first joined the Plan International-sponsored soccer team for girls in their village in Ghana, they never expected that they’d one day be playing for the National Women’s Soccer Team. The soccer team requires players to be enrolled in school and provides leadership and life skills taining. Since the team was started in 2008, dropout rates for girls in the area have dropped by 80-90%. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Magic Bus Transports Youth Out of Poverty

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Shazia Malik grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Delhi, India, with little hope for her future. When Magic Bus arrived in her community, Shazia was excited to engage in its sports-based activities. Soon, she became a volunteer and led weekly training sessions in handball and football. “I enjoyed it,” . “I could play and also it made me feel like I was capable of something.” In 2011, she was offered a paid job as a Youth Mentor. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Bicycles as Vehicles for Change in Zambia

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Fifteen year-old Ethel used to walk more than two hours every day from her home in rural Zambia to reach her school. Last year, she received a bike from World Bicycle Relief that shortens her commute down to 45 minutes, allowing her more time and energy to learn and manage her many responsibilities. “When I received my bicycle, I was so excited,” Ethel told World Bicycle Relief. “Now I would have time to study, travel comfortably to school, and still help with chores... this bicycle has changed my life.” Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Scoring Big for Mothers and Babies in Malawi

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with one in 36 pregnant women dying from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Many of these women die from hemorrhage, one of the leading causes of maternal death worldwide. An increase in blood supply, especially at rural health clinics, has the potential to save the life of a mother experiencing hemorrhaging. In an innovative push to save lives, the Silver Strikers Football Club partnered with MamaYe Malawi and Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) earlier this month to organize a football match and blood drive to raise awareness and to collect 59 units of blood for health clinics.

 

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