Why is it important that clubs incorporate a gender perspective?
Vanina Andreetta leads the Gender Division and Women's Football Area at Quilmes Atlético Club. Since she took office, her job has been to ensure that the club can offer courses and workshops on gender perspective and new masculinities to club managers, athletes, employees, members and other people involved with the institution.
Make it official: creating protocols against violence
The club has created an action protocol to prevent gender-based violence and discrimination, inspired by other clubs' own protocols and in close collaboration with the Gender Division at the Argentinian Football Association and other institutions. It provides an administrative course of action for women who are members, fans, employees or athletes of the club to face gender-based violence, as well as to prevent these situations and assist victims if needed. The protocol had such a huge impact that it even made it into the top league players' contracts. Now, these include a gender-based violence clause which forces players to comply with the protocol and thus allows the club to take direct action over their contract if a player is formally accused of gender-based violence.
This job comes with several difficulties, it is no easy feat: the world of football is managed entirely by men and they are very reluctant to certain changes because of their upbringing in a very sexist society, developed under chauvinist concepts, which interferes with their capacity to see the problems that need addressing as well as the need to try a new perspective. Open dialogue is quite hard to achieve.
Scoring against patriarchy
However, to Vanina, the fight for gender perspective in clubs is important: beyond their role in sports, these are civil associations and as such they play a social role, too. They cannot exist separated from the issues that affect us, society as a whole and women in particular. She highlights that clubs work with kids who get into the sport at a very young age and, therefore, the club becomes a second home to them and is involved in their upbringing. It is important that gender perspective is included in education for all people starting young, to be able to deconstruct this patriarchal system. For Quilmes' Gender Division, it is essential to teach with a gender perspective to successfully fight against patriarchy.