Christian Aid points to persistent gender inequality in football

Football has a long tradition of uniting people on and off the pitch and while many celebrated the Lionesses’ UEFA Euro victory, talk of gender equality grew and came to the fore. Embracing this changing mood, Christian Aid planned a reactive campaign to highlight gender injustice around the world.

So this weekend, to coincide with the start of the Premier League season, Christian Aid launched a social, out-of-home and press campaign to raise awareness that half of the world’s women are still not even allowed to play football , namely some cases are prosecuted simply because they appeared at a game.

The campaign was created by the creative agency Impero and Media was planned by Goodstuff. The campaign is part of the broader creative platform United by Hope.

As excitement around the win waned over the weekend, the charity saw an opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of women and girls around the world and launch a campaign highlighting Christian Aid’s work for gender justice.

The campaign uses contextual targeting of this weekend’s major sporting events to spread a message of women’s equality, gender justice and hope.

Press and social media are leveraged to maximize current moments and stimulate discussion and debate, while AdVans are used in contextual locations to engage consumers and media alike.

Christian Aid is calling on euro-following brands and supporters to get behind the campaign and help challenge power imbalances around the world. The campaign will take over key locations across the Premiership and reach hundreds of thousands of football fans as the focus of football shifts back to men’s football.

Gender equality is at the heart of Christian Aid’s work. The goal is to raise awareness of gender justice and intersecting inequalities among supporters, to inspire and empower them to engage in meaningful and lasting action to advance gender justice.

The events of last weekend have shown us the power of hope and determination, and yet it is not so long ago that top scorer of all time, Lioness Ellen White, was banned from playing in her local league as a nine-year-old because she was a girl was.

In 1921 the FA announced that “the game of football is quite unsuitable for women” and banned women from playing on football grounds in England for 50 years.

And recently, the deputy head of Afghanistan’s cultural commission proclaimed that “women’s sport is neither appropriate nor necessary”.

And yet there is hope everywhere, only this year, for the first time in three years, women were allowed to attend an Iran-Iraq game in Tehran’s stadium. It’s a small victory, but changes are happening.

Chris Tyas, Chief Strategy Officer at Impero, said: “The campaign aims to address the injustices of gender inequality while the focus returns to men’s football. Many brands walked out of the conversation with a big “Well done” for the Lionesses. And this is exactly where Christian Aid comes in. We ask people to believe in hope that change can happen.”

Christian Aid Brand Manager Kimberley Ferguson added: “Like so many others, I was surprised to learn that women in England have been banned from playing football for 50 years. The Lionesses show what can be achieved when women are given access to a level playing field. Every girl should be able to play if she wants to, regardless of where she was born.”

Goodstuff Managing Partner Genevieve Tompkins concluded, “We are delighted to launch this important reactive campaign for Christian Aid. Our cross-team collaboration and openness allowed for quick decision making and a balance between what is possible and what is most effective for the brand. We hope this campaign will serve to shed a light on the Global South and raise the profile of Christian Aid and the work they do to bring justice to communities around the world.”

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