Women soccer is clearly on the rise in Palestine: Previously, female football had only been played on an indoor, five-a-side basis and seemed to be resigned to a wallflower existence. In February 2011 a women 11-a-side football league was inaugurated, a significant step forward for the Palestinian female football players and for gender equality. The latest developments do not only break new ground for female sports activities: Women soccer opens the door in particular for a closer look at gender stereotypes as well as women’s societal status in general:
On the occasion of the FIFA Women World Cup and “Gender Kicks 2011” Heinrich Böll Stiftung Arab Middle East Office Ramallah will launch a broad variety of events around “gender goals” in Palestine – in cooperation with Goethe Institute Ramallah.
“Gender Kicks 2011” offers the perfect opportunity to put gender issues on the public agenda, through culture, sports and politics. On 26 June 2011 the series of events will be opened with a kick-off panel that will gather female soccer players, trainers and representatives of female Palestinian football initiative, followed by the screening of the opening game of the FIFA women world cup. La Vie Café in Ramallah, a popular place among young people, will screen all games of the world cup.
On a regular basis, there will be screenings of documentaries and movies about girls and women playing soccer around the world (e.g. “Football Under Cover”, “Adelante Muchacha”) at Goethe Institute. The movies focus on challenges and struggle of female football players, but also on their successful fights against prejudices.
In addition, there will be a photo exhibition of women soccer teams and fans of women soccer from the Middle Eastern Region by Claudia Wiens. After the opening, gender activists will discuss images of women and how to challenge gender stereotypes.
Before the finish will be made at the FIFA Women World Cup in Germany, a girls soccer tournament will be held in cooperation with “Right To Play”. On the day of the final “Gender Kicks” will discuss how women can further be empowered beyond the playing field. Concretely, a political panel discussion will address the prospects of women and gender issues in the context of regional and local developments, namely the “Arab Spring” and the Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation.
Dates and the eventcalendar are available in the programme flyer (PDF, 2 Pages, 1,83 MB).
As part of Gender Kicks the Heinrich Böll Stiftung - Ramallah/ Palestinian Territories supported the performance of the German Women Jazz Orchestra which was organized by the Goethe Institut.
- Deutsche Welle (video, english): Live Jazz Thrills Gazans
- Overview: Gender Kicks 2011
- Palestine: Gender Kicks in Ramallah
- Canada: Great Success—Minor Impact: Women’s Soccer in Canada
- Canada: Canada Women Soccer Facts
- USA: “We are just as good“ - American Girls love Soccer
- Nigeria: Gender Equality in Nigeria Football