The ability to participate in physical fitness and outdoor adventure is related to important human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to health and freedom of movement. In fact, the ability to participate in sport and physical education is increasingly being recognized as a fundamental right in itself.
Unfortunately, in many areas of the world, there are few opportunities to participate in sports. Women and girls are especially restricted as a result of widespread discrimination and traditional beliefs about female roles. In countries like Afghanistan, harmful cultural and gender norms significantly limit the ability of women and girls to engage in activities outside the home. Particularly in post-conflict regions, sports are extremely limited or even nonexistent due to a lack of resources and insecurity.
There is an overwhelming need to develop opportunities for women and girls to become involved in sport and physical education. The benefits of these activities are too numerous to count. On an individual level, they can help to develop emotional and physical well-being and personal power. However, on a community, regional or national level, sport and physical activity programs can be used as a tool to promote gender equity, enhance children’s and women’s rights, and address harmful discriminatory practices. Sport activities can also be used as a platform to provide important life skills education. Through sports, women and girls have the opportunity to convene around a common interest, build their social networks, and develop their independence and public participation outside of the home.
We strongly believe in the power of sports to transform the lives of women and girls, and we are deeply committed to making that happen.
Free to Run is a 501(c)(3) public charity registered in the state of New York. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law under IRC section 170.