The opening of the multimedia exhibition ‘Women Conquer the Pitch’, last Thursday (26 June), marked the launch of the German organisation’s Rio-based campaign, which will run between 25 June and 13 July.
The exhibition tells the stories of female players and teams worldwide to whom football turned out to be a catalyst for emancipation. It also presents data collected in the context of the organisation’s international projects.
“We developed the campaign as we felt the need to bring attention to women’s football when the whole world is focusing on Brazil and the men’s tournament. We wanted to use this opportunity to shift part of tournament’s exposure towards the women’s game.” said Lea Gölnitz, a representative of Discover Football.
Alongside with the exhibition, a girl’s football camp and an international forum will also be organised.
The first initiative is a co-operation between Discover Football and the social sport project Estrela Sports, backed up by the UN special ambassador for sport, development and peace Willi Lemke.
It consists of a series of training camps, set in four different favelas of Rio de Janeiro, in which football related workshops will run throughout the period and a football tournament will be organised at the end.
The latter is a women’s international forum that will bring together sports journalists from Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Iran, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil to exchange expertise, provide media competency and social media training for players and women’s rights activists, and discuss the link between football, women’s rights and female empowerment. Both international forum and the exhibition are organised in partnership with the social initiative Guerreiras project.
Besides the aforementioned activities, on 6 July a women’s football street action day will be organised as part of the forum’s activities.
The ‘Moving Perspectives’ campaign aims to create an exchange between players and female leaders; strengthen the commitment and foster the growth of women’s football; give visibility to football related grassroots projects for girls; and raise awareness for global structural issues holding back women’s football.
Throughout the period a dedicated blog will provide information about the campaign’s events and share stories on women’s football in Brazil, among other topics.
Addressing gender equality in football
In the county of football, Brazil, and home to FIFA’s five-times woman player of the year, Marta Vieira da Silva, women still face a fight to play the game and female football is often overshadowed by the men’s game.
Similarly to Discover Football, a number of national and international organisations are using the World Cup to address the issues around gender equality in the sport.
In Rio, Street Football World is hosting the multimedia exhibition ‘Mulheres em Campo Driblando Preconceito’ (On the pitch tackling prejudice), which retells women’s football history in Brazil from their perspective.
“You can only be happy to come to a place like this that is exclusively dedicated to women’s football, I think this is an unique place in Brazil, and it makes you remember so many good moments.” said the Brazilian star and patron of the exhibition Marta Vieira da Silva.
In Porto Alegre, another World Cup host city, the Centre for Sports Memory of Rio Grande do Sul University also organised an exhibition on women’s football in the country.
Alongside with it, other activities, including women’s football tournaments, training courses and leadership workshops for female players and a state forum on ethics and women’s football management, will be held as part of the programme.
In São Paulo, the city’s cultural centre is hosting the photo exhibition ‘As donas da Bola’ (The ball’s owners) highlighting the work of 11 Brazilian female photographers who documented the presence and relevance of women in the Brazilian football culture.