Challenging Gender Norms

In Mumbai’s Muslim community, expectations of girls and young women often differ greatly to those of boys and young men.

Their role in life is often considered to be within the domestic sphere and women are less likely to have a significant role in key-decision making processes within society and even their own family. Expectations can extend to sports and fitness, meaning girls are less likely to be benefitting from the positive impact of team sports.

Premier Skills Community Coaches play an important role in encouraging women and girls to participate in football, acting as roles models to young people and prospective coaches.

They are equipped with the skills to influence social change and create opportunities for marginalised young people. Their insight into their own local communities is essential for success.

Between 2016 and 2018, Premier Skills Community Coaches used their newly developed skills to run inclusive community football projects for 33,148 young people, and 42% - or nearly fourteen thousand were girls and young women.

Tanaz Hassan Mohammed, became a Premier Skills Community Coach, as she was keen to learn how she could contribute to tackling the social norms which prevent women and girls from participating in football.

Barriers exist for girls, because of what they have been told since they were young. Coming from a Muslim community, I know the importance of making sure girls understand they can wear a hijab and still play football. What matters most is their participation.

Tanaz also realised how important her presence as a female coach would be in changing attitudes.

I organised a summer camp which initially attracted 1,200 boys and not a single girl. That’s when I decided to step up and present myself as a role model. The news of a female coach training on a ground where only male coaches had been seen before spread like wildfire. After engaging with mothers in the community, I had more than 500 girls, who hadn’t touched a football before, out on the field.

Tanaz has since qualified as a Premier Skills Coach Educator.

Tanaz in action as a Premier Skills Coach Educator


Sunday, 21 July, 2019 - 22:11