Womens rights through soccer

Womens rights through soccer


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October 13, 2015 


Lahis Maria Ramos Veras, 14 , and Milena Medeiros dos Santos 16 are soccer buddies. They love playing soccer, it’s their life. at once there was a legal ban  from 1941- 1979, saying that  “women will not be allowed to practice sports which are considered incompatible to their feminine nature.” This law does not exist anymore. Now Brazil  has a women’s national team (although there’s only room for a few elite players).

A protest is currently  in motion. There’s a girl who wants to play soccer, but she’s facing teasing and harassment.

“When I started playing I felt there was a lot of prejudice, they call me a macho girl, they called me lesbian, ” says Lahis Maria Ramos Veras, 14, who goes by the nickname Lala.

Lala (center) and Milena (left) would like to see more incentives for young girls to take up soccer.

“I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t play soccer. I don’t just like it. I love it,” Milena says, flashing a mischievous smile.

Usually boys say that they are in love with this sport, but this time it came from a girl. It is hard to just believe that, but what can we say, it’s Brazil. These girls are so crazy about soccer so they can play it anywhere no matter what the consequences are. They are kicking soccer balls in a sort of a basketball court even smaller surrounded by a high chain link fence. It looks like a cage rather than a soccer field. The area where they play in is called “roupa suja,” which means literally dirty laundry in Portuguese.


Estrela Sports has been around since 2009. It was founded by Elaine Nascimento, who grew up in a working-class family in Rio and went on to become a professional soccer player. Because soccer has played a key role in her own life, she wanted to help other girls try the sport. The volunteer coaches currently work with about 20 girls, who train three times a week and play against other girls’ teams in Rocinha.

And it’s not just sports for the sake of sports. Coach Guilherme Silva says public education is pretty awful for many of the kids here. Soccer teaches skills they might not otherwise learn: to focus, follow directions, play in a group.

That explains that girls in Brazil who can’t go to school or have nothing to do would play soccer instead. This sport is filling up the gap of free time that they have.  It is important to not go too far about it by replacing school with soccer. This sport might get these girls into a limited bright future, but not as much as education.