Mat Wright

An innovative new programme in Kenya is using football to help tackle gender inequality and violence against women and girls.  

The Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls through Football programme aims to respond to widespread gender violence in Kenya, where in some areas over 44 per cent of women have experienced physical violence and over 24 per cent have been the victims of sexual violence.  

Funded by DFID and managed by the British Council, the programme will use the power of sport to help address gender inequality and violence against women and girls. Young people, both male and female, will have the opportunity to take part in weekly football sessions to learn about gender issues and how these affect their communities. These sessions will help develop young leaders who will be empowered to be a stronger voice on violence against women and girls and other issues. 

The programme will see local grassroots coaches being trained by qualified Premier League club coaches in order for them to deliver the sessions. There will also be a strong focus on outreach and advocacy to reach out to the wider community on the negative consequences of violence on the ability of women and girls to fulfil their potential.  

The new programme builds on the success of the Premier Skills programme – a partnership between the British Council and the Premier League – which trains young people and disaffected youth to develop new leadership skills to benefit their communities.  

Addressing Violence against Women and Girls through Football continues the creative use of football to achieve social change. The global popularity of football makes it a tool through which gender inequality, at the root of violence against women and girls, can be addressed.  

Funded by DFID, the programme will run for three years and has a total value of £1.8 million.