Discover Football moving perspectives

05. – 12. July 2014 – Rio de Janeiro

International Campaign on Women’s Football and Empowerment: FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014

In June and July 2014, the world’s eyes were set on Brazil. The No. 1 football country welcomes hundreds of thousands of international guests and journalists to the men’s football World Cup. The teams that have qualified all have one thing in common: women’s football plays a subordinate role in their countries and is subject to prejudice. Women’s struggle to play football reflects social conflicts around gender roles and women’s rights. Notwithstanding the drawbacks, many (esp. young) women play football and thereby conquer social spaces that, by tradition, used to be exclusively male. In this, these women challenge their societies’ gender order and open up new and diverse paths for girls and women to choose in life.

DISCOVER FOOTBALL initiated an international campaign that brought to Brazil football activists and journalists that fight for women’s rights and women’s football in their home countries in order to make their cause available to a global audience. The campaign’s two main aims were: (1) to raise public awareness of the situation of girls and women in football; (2) to strengthen women’s commitment in football along with the structures they have created by enabling an international exchange.

Exhibition panels, short films, panel discussions, press conferences, a special program for girls, public street tournaments and a documentary film informed the international public about women’s rights and women’s football around the world.

Our partners

In Brazil we worked together with:

Click here to read our blog: 


About the Girls Camp:

The Girls Football Camp took place from July 5th till July 12th 2014 in the amateur soccer pitches of girls‘ projects in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The exchange ended with a tournament in Rocinha, girls against girls from 4 different Favelas. The girl’s team from Cidade de Deus took the trophy home.

During the FIFA Men’s World Cup, DISCOVER FOOTBALL and our partner organization Estrela Sports brought together girls from different areas of disadvantaged neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha, Vidigal, Chatuba/Mesquita and Cidade de Deus. Just like in any other region of the world, girls from disadvantaged communities face complex problems. They often come from difficult social backgrounds with many families living below the poverty line. Due to poor education, many youths lack employment skills. They are exposed to health risks, alcoholism and drugs. Especially girls and young women face violence and crime and are discriminated against and excluded from social life.

The girl’s football camp created an exchange among female football players, a ‘safe space’, enabled the girls to talk about issues they are facing, and encourage them to play football. The workshops were meant to be a mutual exchange and commitment of participating communities, DISCOVER FOOTBALL and Estrela Sports. It aimed to create an international solidarity and a sense of community through the common joy of the game. The project recognized the potential that football and other sports can unleash when systematically included in processes of social change.

The Girls Camp closed with a tournament on a hill in Rocinha, where all 4 participating teams played against each other. UN special advisor on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Willi Lemke joined our celebration day and highlighted the importance of advocating for a world in which girls and women can do sports without being discriminated against for any reason.


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The Campaign was funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the Ministry of the Interior.