Safe Spaces: Redefining gender norms through kabaddi


The Safe Spaces project in Dholpur, India, uses kabaddi to challenge negative attitudes towards girls and women, and transform gender relations in a context where gender inequality is deeply entrenched in every area of life. Traditionally male-dominated, kabaddi is a popular contact sport in South Asia that is played between two teams of seven players. 

Safe Spaces uses kabaddi sessions to help girls reclaim public spaces and challenge gender stereotypes. The project also enables them to come together to learn about topics that are relevant to their wellbeing, including early marriage, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive rights.

What I like most is the unity of working with the team and teaching the girls lessons about gender, such as about patriarchy and the daily ‘gender clock’ - the different roles men and women do during the day. Also, we talk about marriage and relationships, and then we play kabaddi.
- Dharmbai, Safe Spaces mentor