Women’s football – ‘Let’s shatter dated gender stereotypes’

Today we’re celebrating the Fifa Women’s World Cup final and how a whole new generation of girls have been inspired to turn their back on dated gender stereotypes and take up the ‘beautiful game’.

There has been a shift in people’s perceptions when it comes to women’s sport thanks to this year’s tournament which has attracted record breaking viewing figures. Young leader with 6th Clydebank Brownies Kara shares her thoughts on what this fantastic turn of events means for women’s sport and impressionable young members.

The main reason girls from my unit don’t play football is because it’s seen as a boys’ sport. They’re too embarrassed to join in for fear they won’t be as good as the boys.

Women’s football has long been thought of as less exciting than men’s games. However, this year’s Women’s World Cup has seen a huge increase in coverage compared to previous years which is a huge step in the right direction for gender equality. Did you know 6.1 million people watched the Scotland Women’s National Team’s opening game? Breaking down barriers when it comes to male dominated sports could help towards reducing sexism in society.

Research from the Girls in Scotland survey (which gives a snapshot of what life is really like for girls) shows that 91% of girls aged 7-11 play a sport or exercise at least once a week. But this drops to just 53% of those aged 18-25. This needs to change and making sports, like football, more accessible to girls and young women is a great start!

By continuing to draw my unit’s attention to the positive changes happening in women’s sport, and reminding them they can do anything, my plan is to help shatter dated gender stereotypes designed to hold girls back from realising their potential.

As a young leader I feel it’s important to do my part to help create a more equal future for girls and young women. After all, professional female football players earn, on average, around 88% less than their male counterparts. I’m lucky to be in a position where I’m able to empower and influence young girls and I take this responsibility very seriously.

So, come on! Football is easily one of the most commonly watched sports in Scotland and it’s time we got more of a look in and a bigger slice of the action. After the summer my girls and I are heading straight for the nearest park for a kick about, and I can’t wait!

Together we can break barriers!

Through Girlguiding’s Future Girl plan for positive change we want to help create a world without barriers for girls and young women. One where they know they can be or do whatever they want to. Get involved and help us make a difference.