The 2010 Soccer World Cup

Opportunities to engage men and boys in advancing gender equality.

Sports for development (S4D) initiatives have emerged in recent years, in an attempt to offer developing countries alternative strategies to tackle a variety of issues relating to development (individual, economic or social), peace building, post-disaster relief, gender equality, health promotion and disease prevention. With the upcoming 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa in sight, this piece looks at the use of sports to promote social change, particularly in the areas of working with men to achieve gender equality and to address issues related to gender based violence and HIV. The latter assumption is validated by the growing evidence base of programmes that work with men and boys and their significant impact on increasing men’s support for gender equality and in reducing a range of health problems.