Futebol dá força Sweden started in 2013 when our founder Cecilia Safaee returned to her country of birth after starting up Futebol dá força in Mozambique and realized that our work is just as necessary in Sweden as anywhere else:
"We have the same problems here in Sweden, we are just better at hiding them, or just good at not talking about them."
Sweden at a glance
Sweden is one of the richest countries in the world, and has not participated as an armed force in any war for two centuries. Sweden's long-term successful economic system with substantial social welfare has been challenged in recent years due to high unemployment, socio-economic segregation and increased levels of extremism which has created a society in discord with itself. Sweden is often considered one of the most gender equal countries in the world, however, statistics show a different reality.
Being a girl in Sweden
In Sweden, one in three young women between 16-24 years lives with anxiety, distress or unease in her daily life - a fact that is rarely addressed in public discourse. This number increases to 43% when women up to 29 years are counted. The statistics are much lower for boys and men in the same age span, at 14%. Girls and young women are also often targets of physical, psychological and sexual violence. One in three girls that attend a youth health centre, known as 'ungdomsmottagning' in Sweden, report having had repeated experiences of harassment or other violations and 14% have been victims of some form of sexual assault during the last year. Young girls are particularly vulnerable with regards to sexual violence – one third of all reported rapes are committed against a person under the age of 15. The majority of rapes and attempted rapes in Sweden are committed indoors by a perpetrator that the victim knows. Given that almost half of all girls have at some point been contacted online by someone who wants to talk about sex or send them pictures with sexual content that they do not want to see, we can conclude that girls and young women in Sweden have few safe spaces or free zones where they can simply be, grow as individuals and participate actively in their community without the fear of being harassed or limited in other ways.
How we work
We work together with the Swedish Sports Association, the Swedish Football Federation and Municipalities, as well as various local organisations and football clubs, throughout the country. Together we recruit, train and support female leaders to create safe spaces in their local communities where girls get improved self-esteem, knowledge about their rights and tools to improve their own future prospects with support from female role models.