March is women’s history month. Join us in celebrating the stories of women in Football. Throughout this month we will focus more on the contribution that women have made and are making in the world of football. By means of multiple initiatives on our social media channels and website we hope to make a positive impact and further the debate. On our social media channels we highlight female football icons every day.
In this article:
FMH photo collage (Megan Rapinoe, photo: Jamie Smed, Wikimedia Commons; Petra Landers, photo: Heinz Reinders, Wikimedia Commons; Carmen Pomies, photo: Très Sport).
Herstory: a feminist perspective on football history
Herstory can be described as a a feminist perspective on history. Where the emphasis lies on the influential role of women. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, the term became more mainstream in both academia and the broader public. This leads us to 2016. In 2016 the HerStory campaign was launched through a collaboration amongst UN Women, Empower Women, Wikimedia Foundation, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the UN Inter-agency Network on Youth Development’s Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality. The campaign was born out of the recognition that “gender knowledge gaps and biases reinforce the harmful stereotypes and practices, and often misrepresent women and girls, and undercut or undervalue their contributions locally and globally.“ To address these knowledge gaps, the campaign continues to focus on gathering and analyzing data makes the invisible women more visible.
How is it celebrated in football?
- Fan.tastic females: Football Herstory: Football Her.Story is the first attempt to explore the history of female fan culture and follow the path of women in football in Europe from past to present in an exhibition format, guided by a set of questions.
- Global Goals World Cup: Herstory Arena: With the Herstory Arena, the organizers aim to make room for women’s voices and personal interpretations to create a vision of a future where sport and sustainable development is truly owned by everyone.
- DISCOVER FOOTBALL HERstory Workshop: The HERstory activity explores key moments in women’s football herstory across the globe. Participants work in teams to identify the correct year and then to assemble the cards in chronological order.
What can we do?
Our platform is designed to help young people explore European (and global) history and heritage through the lens of football as well as use football to tackle social exclusion. In this mission, we have to ask ourselves whose stories are being shared and how the stories of marginalized groups, including women and girls, be made visible? How have their stories and lived experiences in football been told? Aligning with the platform’s goal to tackle social exclusion, we wonder, how can we position these stories to reflect on how and why women and girls (amongst other groups) have been excluded for so long in football history? Looking at the social activism around this theme, we are curious to see how the HERstory initiatives can go mainstream.
Call to Action
We see this month as a great opportunity to highlight resources created through and around this project as well as initiatives, activities and stories which continue to inspire and remind us of the importance of women’s football stories. We encourage you to join us, share with us local histories of women in football and continue to include more stories into our understanding of Football Makes History.
Find out more
Football Makes History already celebrated the contribution of multiple women through history. You can read for example a story about Lily Parr, perhaps the greatest-ever female footballer. Or the life story developed around Brunilde Amodeo, the woman who fought against Facism. History is not always about what has happened but also about who is making history right now. In that vein we for example celebrated the lives of Nadia Nadim, the danish super star who was born in Herat and Stephanie Frappart, the female referee who is breaking mould by refereeing big matches in the men’s game.
Florrie Redford was a leading pioneer of women’s football, and a star centre-forward for Dick, Kerr Ladies in the 1920s playing in England, France and the United States. Her story is about pioneering in Women’s Football.
Carmen Pomies was an outstanding athlete in many sports, and one of the pioneer female footballers in France. Her life story is one about Gender history.
Helen was one of the founding figures of the women’s game. She was a suffragist and a campaigner for women’s rights. She was the first woman to set up the stall for serious women’s football.
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