Beirut. – In preparation of the Women´s Football Festival in Lebanon, a delegation of DISCOVER FOOTBALL is currently in Beirut to meet partners and learn more about women’s football and the situation in Lebanon in general.
The event in summer is being organized with our friends and partners, Girls Football Academy, and will involve a tournament with teams from the MENA region and workshop elements on women´s rights, gender, anti-discrimination, health & nutrition, etc.
The idea for the project was developed almost two years ago during the DISCOVER FOOTBALL FESTIVAL 2013 with Nadia Assaf, co-founder of GFA. Nadia has been involved with DISCOVER FOOTBALL since 2012 when she attended the Expert Seminar.
During the tournament, the teams will host workshops with girls from various regions in Lebanon. Our local partner, Right to Play Lebanon (RTP), which has a lot of experience with educating children and youth, will help us to reach girls aged 13-18. Right to Play Lebanon works with Palestinian refugees conducting football projects in the camps. Last year, a project with Syrian refugees and host communities in Tripoli was realized. Although the attendance of girls in the Tripoli camp rose from three percent to 23 per cent within the project time of four months including girls remains a challenge for RTP.
We also learned a lot of interesting facts about the Lebanese LGBT community meeting the first LGBT advocacy group in the MENA region, Helem , which provides legal, social and medical services for LGBT. They started as an underground organization and fought hard to achieve an official status. Today they collaborate with international organizations on topics like gender identity and reproductive rights.
Having our seminar “Addressing Gender-Based Violence through Football in the Middle East and North Africa” in mind we spoke with Amnesty International Regional Office MENA. Amnesty is currently focusing on a gender-based violence as well. Moreover, they are running their campaign “My Body My Rights” addressing sexual and reproductive rights.