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A Research carried out at the UPNA analyzes sport as a useful tool in the empowerment of woman

From left to right, Rut Iturbide and Ester Casals.


A Research carried out at the UPNA analyzes sport as a useful tool in the empowerment of woman

The graduate in the Diploma of Specialization in Gender Ester Casals has worked with a group of women in situations of exclusion or violence

An investigation carried out at the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) analyzes sport as a useful tool in the empowerment of women, especially in those that are in situations of social exclusion or gender violence. The author of the study, carried out in collaboration with the non-governmental organization (NGO) Médicos del Mundo, is Ester Casals Flores, who holds a Diploma of Specialization in Gender from the University, and the research has been conducted by the professor of the Department of Labor. Social Ruth Iturbide Rodrigo.

The objective of the research was to analyze how sport could benefit in the processes of empowerment of women in situations of sexist violence, focusing on the particular cases of a group of women who use the resources of the Government of Navarre. Previously, the researcher made a prior diagnosis to know their situation, the needs and personal demands they presented, and to see if the sport could fit as part of the social intervention, whose ultimate goal is empowerment.

The idea of ​​this project began within the subject “The professional figure of agent of Equality” of the aforementioned specialization diploma, taught by Rut Iturbide, where it is intended, from the aforementioned professional figure, to apply a professional practice of gender mainstreaming and empowerment, and / or develop tools for planning, monitoring and evaluation of social intervention projects and programs with a gender perspective.

The author created with the women a discussion group, through the “funnel technique”, consisting of asking a series of questions related from the first to the last and aimed at achieving a valued response to the hypothesis, that is, if the Sport can be a useful tool in the empowerment of women.

The program was carried out over ten weeks (with sessions that took place on Wednesdays) in the sports facilities of the UPNA and consisted of the participating women analyzing, from the practice of physical exercises and sports, not only the attitudes that have to do with the relations of inequality between men and women, but also how to empower personal and collective development and empowerment attitudes.

In the words of the author of the investigation, “it is about addressing in a different and alternative way issues related to patriarchy and its consequences. Faced with this unequal and discriminatory social system, this sporting proposal allows the development of abilities and attitudes of autonomy, self-improvement and personal and group development, “he says.

According to the author, women have been limited their participation since the nineteenth century by social and cultural conditions, and sometimes have been dissuaded from practicing, which has deprived many women, he says, “to acquire and develop skills within the sports world, and extensively in other areas, because sport is a way of learning for life, in which there are challenges, obstacles to overcome, energy to share, goals to achieve and physical and mental well-being to promote and develop , something that is evidently associated with the hegemonic and normative models of femininity and masculinity attributed to women and men and that mark what we and others should be and are required in multiple ways to be, “he says.

source: Public University of Navarra – Pamplona, Spain

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