Football & Feminism -Teaming Up

By Demelza Desforges - MIN Ambassador, 23rd of August 2023

Football & Feminism -
SWFCWSG team up with MIN 

The game of football, often viewed as a microcosm of society, has seen the rise of feminism's influence, leading to a powerful transformation in attitudes, opportunities, and perceptions.  As the new football season begins, so too does a new and exciting partnership between Mums In Need (MIN) and SWFC Women’s Supporters Group (SWFCWSG).  

Football is a sport enjoyed by millions across the world. However, due to gender biases, women have repeatedly been relegated to the sidelines. Discriminatory attitudes and derogatory chants can hinder football’s universal appeal. Racism and prejudice contradict the sport's spirit of inclusivity. The tackling of misogyny and hate must extend beyond the pitch. These injustices not only undermine the principles of fair play and respect but perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Football communities, such as Stop Hate UK, are rallying to educate and enforce strict measures against discriminatory behaviour. 

Championing Inclusivity - SWFC Women’s Supporters Group

Recognising the under-representation of women in football, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club Women's Supporters Group fosters inclusivity and gender diversity among fans. Confronting the lingering presence of misogyny and hate in football, SWFCWSG creates a safe space, open to everyone, where female fans are free to engage, and celebrate the sport they love.

SWFCWSG’s dedication to addressing gender disparities extends beyond the field, as they’ve teamed up with Mums In Need by choosing us as their new charity partner for the upcoming football season. This collaboration shows the potential of football to drive social change, making a profound impact within the sport and beyond. Thank you SWFCWSG!

Linking the Unseen

The partnership between SWFCWSG and MIN is even more important when the link between domestic abuse and football is taken into consideration. Indeed, startling statistics expose a troubling connection between the two; intensity surrounding matches has been tied to a surge in domestic abuse incidents. Recognising this link marks the initial step to addressing the problem. The football community can leverage its influence by modeling respect and promoting responsible fandom through awareness campaigns and establishing support systems for those affected. 

While football creates tension and can be a trigger for domestic abuse, it is important to remember that the cause of the abuse is always the perpetrator.

Actively challenging these issues by advocating for gender equality, the partnership between SWFCWSG and MIN stands as a potent response to toxic behaviours.  Together we can confront some of these discriminatory issues head-on, by modeling representation and respect. By choosing MIN to be their charity partner for the season 2023-24, SWFCWSG will help raise much needed funds for the charity and will also help us to raise the profile of our cause. We are so excited by this new coalition! Together we become part of a wider movement that aims to eradicate hate and misogyny from football culture.

Lionesses - Resilience and Bravery 

Challenging tradition and stereotype, the Lionesses’ stellar performances during the Women’s World Cup ignites pride in the hearts of fans, forging a path towards broader recognition, representation, and equal opportunities within sport. Their global achievements serve as a resounding reminder that success knows no gender limitations. As the Lionesses roar, they shatter glass ceilings and tear down barriers. In unison with #HerGameToo, the Lionesses amplify their roles as catalysts for equality, championing progress on and off the field. 

#HerGameToo helps to amplify the voices of women and casts a spotlight on the challenges women encounter in football.  This digital movement serves as a critical platform for women to share their stories, experiences, and insights within the football sphere, empowering them to confront discrimination and injustice. As this hashtag gathers momentum, we can hope for broader shifts in attitudes and behaviours, fostering a more inclusive and equitable football community everywhere.

Football has a unique position as a platform that reaches millions. Clubs can use their influence to send powerful messages that emphasize the importance of treating everyone with dignity both on and off the pitch.  Envisioning the future involves football and feminism progressing hand in hand, urging ongoing efforts to bridge gaps, ensure equal opportunities and nurture a culture of respect and support for all, irrespective of gender.  If you would like to donate to help us promote equality and non-violence then please get involved in some of our initiatives such as £2023 for 2023 fundraiser or the MIN 100 Club, and don't forget to follow SWFCWSG on social media.