- Soccer without Borders
SOMOS Equidad: Promoting Gender Equity in Latin America
“WE ARE Equity”! This is not merely the English translation of SOMOS Equidad, the name given to represent the latest installment of the Global Goal 5 Accelerator series, but it is a statement that perfectly encompasses what seven months of innovative trainings, workshops, and assessments sought to instill.
Created in partnership with Common Goal and Women Win and led by Fundación Selección Colombia, SOMOS Equidad was launched in November of 2021 with the aim to not only advance gender equity on the pitch, on the sidelines, and in organizations, but to also break down the societal mechanisms that contribute to gender inequality at large.
This iteration of the Global Goal 5 Accelerator, which focused specifically upon the Latin American region, culminated in June 2022 in Barranquilla, Colombia at Semana Gol y Paz 2022, a conference led by Fundación Selección Colombia. It is here where SWB Managing Director of Programs Lindsey Whitford and SWB Nicaragua (Fútbol Sin Fronteras) Co-Director César Morales made the journey to Barranquilla to lead a series of workshops focused upon coach development, the critical “on the sidelines” component of the Global Goal 5 Accelerator framework. These SWB-led workshops were one of many engaging and memorable activities that took place throughout the four day conference. In-person training, workshop sessions, a forum, and cultural sessions were held for 18+ coach captains and over 80 coaches across seven countries.
“Working on the SOMOS Equidad project during the Gol y Paz week was spectacular. From my point of view, it was very important to be able to work for months with an extraordinary group of leaders and then be able to serve and provide them with tools so that they can advance the issue of gender equity in their communities. We have worked to identify, provide context, and break down the barriers that are faced every day. In our experience with the SOMOS Equidad group we were able to achieve results beyond our expectations.” - César Morales, SWB Nicaragua Co-Director
This in-person gathering marked the last of three phases which encompass the Global Goal 5 Accelerator framework. The journey began seven months prior with the SOMOS Equidad “launch and formation” phase which included cohort formation, learning programs, and self-assessments. During this time, SWB led virtual trainings on best practices for creating gender equity on the pitch to 18 coach captains. The coach captains then replicated that content to 5 more coaches in their community. It is through this train the trainer approach that more than 3,200 girls and boys across 18 communities throughout Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, and Chile are projected to be reached.
It was due to the passion and determination of five professional Colombian soccer players that the South American nation was at the center of SOMOS Equidad. Professional soccer is not the only thing that unites Isabella Echeverri, Melissa Ortiz, Natalia Gaitán, Vanessa Córdoba, and Manuela Acosta. Together, they all joined Common Goal, pledging 1% of their salaries toward advancing gender equity on and off the pitch and leveraging their collective platform to raise awareness of this effort.
More than just a pledge, these footballers of influence made a point to participate in many of the Semana Gol y Paz 2022 workshop sessions, including those led by SWB’s very own Lindsey and César. Not only did this provide a boost of encouragement to the other workshop participants, but it helped to build alignment and understanding of the shared challenges and potential of both the ‘football for good’ and the professional football sectors. This powerful symbol of unity reflects the larger need to work together. It takes everyone, from those on the pitch, to those on the sidelines, and those in the back offices, to make a meaningful impact in the fight to make the soccer pitch a place where gender equity is promoted, celebrated, and strengthened by all.