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Empowering girls through sport

Sports is a powerful force for good. It sets the foundation for healthy child development, it builds self-esteem and leadership skills, and it helps to break down barriers across gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. From early childhood to adolescence, sport teaches important life lessons such as respect, leadership, cooperation and equality.

UNICEF has partnered with ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 to shine a spotlight on empowering girls who are often restricted by social norms, gender inequality, and time-consuming demands of household chores, to participate in sports. Together, we can build a better, brighter and more equitable future.

Empower girls through cricket

Breaking down barriers with a bat and a ball

A Sri Lankan girls cricket team© UNICEF Sri Lanka/2020/Jayawardena

These inspiring young people are part of a girl’s cricket team in Sri Lanka, where cricket is traditionally seen as a boy’s sport. When the school day is over, the girls play cricket on a small ground near their village. However, for a long time, they didn’t have any equipment or anyone to coach them. They would often use a cricket bat borrowed from a neighbour.  

Through a UNICEF sport for development program, girls like Abisha received training in cricket technique and cricket equipment to play. Globally, sport for development initiatives have been shown to build children’s leadership skills and self-esteem and create better relationships with teachers and adults, increasing their engagement in school. 

“I am proud to say that we won the Under 15 Cup in Jaffna. Now our village has gained a reputation for [girls] cricket. I have confidence that I may be able to play for the national women’s team someday,” says Abisha.  

Read the full story.

Empowering girls through sport

Team up with UNICEF to help girls play sport, no matter who they are or where they live.

Be a champion for girls in sport

Participation in sport at all levels gives children and young people a sense of hope and belonging. By becoming a champion for girls in sport, you’re empowering them to:

Challenge unequal gender norms and shape attitudes in schools, playgrounds and homes.

Develop self-confidence and shed bodily inhibitions.

Harness the benefits sports provides to physical and mental health.

Be the next generation of sports champions, change makers and world leaders.

Changing the lives of children around the world through sport

How will my donation help empower girls through sport?

The impact you can make for children across the world by supporting our sports for development programs is immense.

  • $39 could help us deliver a comprehensive sport for development program for a student focusing on skills, wellbeing and inclusion
  • $112 could train a teacher to deliver quality sport programs focusing on skills, physical health and wellbeing and inclusion
  • $200 could provide a pack of sporting supplies for one Children's Club to be able to deliver sport for development activities for around 100 students

    How do we use each dollar donated?

  • 82¢
    last year, 82 cents went directly to program expenditure and community education, including long-term development and emergency response work.
  • 13¢
    last year, 13 cents covered the essential costs of raising public awareness and fundraising to generate more support for UNICEF’s work.
  • 5¢
    last year, 5 cents were spent on UNICEF Australia’s accountability and administration.
A Sri Lankan girls cricket team
© UNICEF Sri Lanka/2020/Jayawardena

Empowering girls through sport

Team up with UNICEF to help girls play sport, no matter who they are or where they live.