By Anne Dahdah and May NasrawiFor 14-year-old Anagheem, participation in Right To Play activities has been an eye opening experience.
“Before today, I had never heard the words gender equality,” says Anagheem.
A student of the Der Ammar Governmental Girls School in the Palestinian Territories, Anagheem took part in Right To Play’s Female Youth Athletic Program, and a gender equality awareness session that has got her rethinking her role – and her rights.
“I now understand that gender does not only refer to women and men, but also to the way society perceives them and their respective roles,” she says.
“Living in a conservative society, there are traditions that don’t give enough attention to girls’ participation in sport and play. While boys have this right because they can play in any play area whenever they want, we don’t.”
Though Right To Play has worked with the Der Ammar school since 2005, the opportunity to reach Anagheem and her peers is a result of the Citizenship Project. An initiative of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of the Palestinian National Authority, the project works with partners like Right To Play throughout the West Bank to encourage youth – especially young girls – to participate in sport and play activities, become more engaged in their communities and recognize their own potential.
“Learning about female leadership, I now feel that I can do everything I set my heart to do,” says Anagheem.
“I can become an athlete, I can become a leader, or I can become both if I want to. I can do it all! The sky is the limit! I am so grateful for Right To Play’s gender sessions because I learned a lot about myself and the woman I can become.”