Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world
Susan B. Anthony
Women in the Ivory Coast do not generally play soccer. They may cook in the kitchen, they may raise the children but soccer is considered the providence of men. Seeing women playing soccer has a huge impact on the community; aside from the shock value, it allows women to feel empowered and breaks down gender stereotypes. It also provides a venue to spread our message, which is why AWARE decided to use soccer games played by women in order to educate adults on the issues surrounding violence against women. UAA had held a women’s soccer game on February 14, 2013 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, which proved to be a huge success. Reports from the game describe a scene of joy and excitement among the brave athletes and spectators.
The match proved to be an especially extraordinary event for the crowd of mothers, daughters, sisters and wives that attended who were not used to such a spectacle of sport and entertainment and who rarely get a break from the demands of childbearing and other family responsibilities. Many women expressed to the UAA representatives the hope that events like these could continue in their neighborhood in the future. To conclude the event, Mayor Doukoure Moustapha made an enlightening speech to all of the women, men and children, expressing his feelings toward the rampant violence against women that casts a shadow on communities and destroys lives.