International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender-balance.
To celebrate the day, as well as raise awareness of the importance of gender-balance and the #BetterforBalance campaign, we will be talking to a number of women from the club and finding out what the day means for them, how korfball can help gender-balance, hearing their experiences and seeing if there are any lessons we can take forward.
Lauren joined Edinburgh City last year following a Beginner Session and has become a really valuable member to the club. As well as playing, Lauren stepped on to the committee after only a few months and has helped shaped the future of the club since.
What does International Women’s Day and the #BalanceforBetter campaign mean to you?
International Women’s Day provides a focal point each year in the fight for gender equality. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the achievements of women in the past and present who might otherwise be overlooked. Striving for greater gender balance is vital to correct the systematic injustices women continue to experience the world over and to make all societies happier, healthier, and safer – for men and women.
What are your experiences of gender-balance in your everyday life?
As a white Westerner born into an affluent and peaceful society, I live a privileged life. However, even with all that privilege behind me, I’ve still experienced gender-based violence. On a day-to-day basis, I sometimes find people’s assumptions about how I should behave or the role I should perform frustrating. For example, every time there’s a reason to buy someone a card and organise a gift collection in work, people ask me if I’m going to do it. They don’t ask my younger and more junior male colleague!
Does korfball help to promote a gender-balance, and do you think there are lessons that can be learnt for the wider community from our sport?
I think korfball definitely promotes gender balance because a team can only win if its male and female players are communicating well and making full use of each other’s talents regardless of gender. I think the wider community can learn lots from korfball’s cooperative ethos. When I first started playing, I was amazed by how polite and civilised it is compared to other sports – I think this is at least in part because having men and women playing together on equal terms breaks us out of the arbitrary and destructive hierarchies that we usually operate within.
Do you think the club is a positive influence on gender-balance and are there any areas that the club excels in or could do better?
I think the club is great at promoting gender balance. We’ve got male and female committee members and coaches. Expectations are just the same for male and female players. The club does have more male members than female members at the moment so I think we should continue to work on attracting women to join through events such as the joint korfball/netball training session held last month.