According to the United Nations, gender equality refers to “the equality of rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men, and girls and boys”, a universal legal principle reflecting that the sex we are born with will never determine the rights, opportunities and responsibilities that we are given over the course of our life.
LaLiga, aware of this universal issue, develops programs which have values such as integration, tolerance, diversity and equality at their very heart.
Since September 2018, LaLiga has been developing a socio-educational project in the Za’atari refugee camp (Jordan) through the Sports Projects division and the LaLiga Foundation, in partnership with AFDP Global (Association Football Development Programme). This initiative’s goal is to improve the quality of life of the more than 950 boys, girls and young refugees who participate in the project by using football as a tool to convey the positive values of sports and of having healthy habits.
Additionally, as of September 1, 2019, the LaLiga Za’atari Social Project, a sports competition, has been underway, where 20 teams are participating in the masculine league and 16 in the feminine. Each one of them is paired with a total of 33 clubs from LaLiga Santander, LaLiga SmartBank and the Primera Iberdrola, showing the commitment professional football has with this project.
With the goal of creating a cultural-sports programme that is sustainable and long-lasting, two technicians from LaLiga were sent to Za’atari to analyse the situation at the camp and begin to establish the grounds for the project. Upon arrival, both trainers saw the enormous gender inequalities that exist in the Za’atari society, which is why it was decided that one of the objectives of the planned activities programme was to do training sessions aimed exclusively at the local women football coaches who would later impart this knowledge to the girls in the project.
Using football to educate about values
Through its Women’s Football department, created in 2015, LaLiga works along with the clubs in developing actions and strategies mainly focused on promotion, professionalisation and raising visibility, on both the national and international level, as well as on equal opportunities in professional football that are equitable between men and women.
This partnership has led to the development of projects that look to recognise the role of women not only as elite athletes but also in their facet as coaches, players, referees or executives. By doing so, education on values is also nurtured, offering equal opportunities to boys and girls in the world of football.
With a strong commitment to the development of women’s football, LaLiga organises, among other initiatives, an annual Women’s Football Congress, attended by clubs in all the national categories, institutions, trainers, sponsors and other stakeholders from the sector, where the general lines to keep growing and continue on a successful path are defined.
Likewise, it is worth mentioning the LaLiga Promises Women’s National Tournament, organized by LaLiga in June 2019 at the Ciudad Deportiva of Real Club Deportivo de la Coruña in Abegondo, which marked a before and after in the history of women’s football.
Additionally, LaLiga has developed various projects that promote and encourage the positive values of sports, such as equality and tolerance. Proof of this is Future Fans, a project launched by the LaLiga Foundation in 2015 that carries out several activities focused on respect and gender equality as part of its goal to raise awareness of the eradication of unsporting behaviour in football.
The role of women within the world of football continues to grow season by season thanks to these types of projects and initiatives developed by the different departments at LaLiga, showing that the role of women in football is evolving and growing, with the goal of ending inequalities.