OVERCOMING PREJUDICE AND PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY AT FIGHT FOR PEACE
16/03/2018 – Fight for Peace’s focus on overcoming prejudice and promoting gender equality and empowerment is bearing positive results following the development of a female only ‘Lutadoras’ programme at the organisation’s London Academy. The programme, which is supported by StreetGames, promotes personal development among Fight for Peace members, through a combination of combat sports, educational workshops and support services tailored to individual needs – all offered in a female-only space.
The programme aims to bring about both personal and social change. While sessions are geared towards developing participants’ self-confidence and improving mental health, there is a simultaneous focus on changing the power that women hold within the Fight for Peace environment through shared confidence and solidarity, and awareness raising efforts among wider staff and members.
Athena Bashar, a participant on the programme, credits the sessions with pushing her out of her comfort zone and supporting her to build her confidence:
“The female only sessions have been amazing and have made me come out of my comfort zone. They have let me understand different perspectives about so many broad topics we’ve discussed during these sessions. One session in particular stands out when I realised that saying no is a right. I have a choice. This has made me a more confident individual and I am proud of who I am today.”
The programme consists of combat sports sessions, which improve fitness and mental health, lead to increased self-esteem and challenge gender stereotypes, and weekly discussions and workshops designed to build inner confidence. Outings, aimed at creating a strong core of women and girls at Fight for Peace, are also regularly held, the most recent being a trip to see the play Fighter which tells the story of boxing’s female pioneers.
Female Engagement Lead at Fight for Peace, Katie-Wambui Kings has seen substantial change since the introduction of the programme:
“Through the female only programme, we are raising confidence and solidarity among our women and girls while making Fight for Peace a more female friendly space. We have already built a strong core group of girls and young women who train hard, meet regularly to discuss a range of issues that affect us all and work closely to support one another. It is wonderful to see these young women making changes in their lives in terms of their personal development, while having an ever bigger presence at Fight for Peace.”