Moving The Goalposts (MTG) works to dismantle systemic issues that stem from and perpetuate gender inequality in the coastal region of Kenya, namely discrimination, violence and harmful practices against girls and women. Concurrently, MTK provides girls and women with education, sexual and reproductive health information and services, and leadership opportunities for their full and active participation and decision-making in society.
MTG uses football as its tool to work on these gender equality issues. Football was intentionally chosen to convey the message that girls/women can take up a sport and roles that are otherwise considered appropriate for boys/men, thereby normalizing girls and women in such roles and reducing stigma and discrimination. MTG runs a school fee awards scheme for girls attending the program proven to incentivize parents to allow girls to attend school and play football. When girls stay in school it is proven to reduce instances of violence and harmful practices, including unwanted/early pregnancies and marriage. Furthermore, football trainings are combined with sexual and reproductive health and life skills education, which educates girls and women on their rights, bodies, community services. MTG embeds leadership into all aspects of its work – proven to elevate participants future prospects and change community mindsets on gender roles.
MTG runs programs on open grounds, school and communities’ fields in many villages in the coastal region. MTG conducts enrollment and parental consent at the start of each program and then girls are assigned to groups according to their age (9 – 10 years, 11 – 13 years, and 14 – 25 years). MTG conducts twice-yearly weeklong residential leadership camps for leaders who are assigned to each program venue to oversee day-to-day running and support of program delivery. Venue leaders work alongside a committee that comprises the team captains, peer educator, referee, coach, first aider, and a representative with a disability. Each committee prepares its annual fixtures for all activities and leagues to take place at their respective venue throughout the year.
Every girl enrolled with MTG participates in a minimum of one weekly practice, league match and sexual and reproductive health education session in their respective age group. This is the same for girls who have disabilities who participate in adapted programs. MTG provides a scholarship awards scheme for girls to enroll and complete all levels of education and MTG supports each girl through this process. Additionally, MTG runs a special program for young women which includes entrepreneurship skills and saving groups.
Our Impact To Date
Towards ending all forms of discrimination, MTG has established 51 secure, safe spaces (fields) where girls/young women play sport and practice leadership to thrive and change community attitudes about women in sport. MTG ensures that all girls attend school, return to education after delivering a baby, or take up entrepreneurial activities to sustain themselves and their families. This commitment has facilitated the presence of girls/women in new spheres previously unavailable to them. Examples: MTG girls/women are nowadays called upon to officiate football matches, including for boys (in 2019 alone 422 girls took up leadership roles as coaches, referees, Safeguarders); 20% of participants have secured employment; 30% run viable businesses; and many girls/women now stand in front of public gatherings and communities to speak and vie for elective positions.
Towards the elimination of harmful practices and universal access to sexual reproductive health, MTG annual survey results showed that 82% of girls enhanced knowledge to prevent pregnancy, up from 47% recorded in 2018 and 76% understood reproductive changes occurring in their bodies, up from 67% in 2018. MTG contributed to Kilifi County Gender Policy and Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and HIV Strategy which comprise workable strategies for teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence. ,