CALI – “The national landscape isn’t encouraging for women, COVID-19 lockdowns have led to, between only 20 March and 4 April 2020, 12 women being murdered in the country and 578 going to the police. Of these, 132 were for violence-related issues within their own families.” We are in Columbia, these are the words of the national deputy Attorney General. Her name is Martha Janeth Mancera. She is a woman with a key role in local politics. It’s not the case that she has just returned her attention to a common modern theme that is scarcely discussed, just as it isn’t the case that Cali and the Valle del Cauca were important in the past.
Inter Campus have been in these same places for more than 20 years. They are areas that are unfortunately known for their social problems linked to narcotrafficking, and where there remains a daily struggle for gender equality. Viviana, who has lived in Cali her whole life and who is in charge of the ‘Fundación Crecer Jugando’ and a point of contact for the Nerazzurri project in Columbia, confirms this to us: “On a statistical level, social concerns are especially centred around violence.” It is her personal view, but one that is unfortunately supported by the statistics: “The most common forms of abuse are physical, followed by psychological and finally sexual abuse. This happens everywhere, not just inside people’s houses, but also on public transport, in shopping centres, streets, offices, you name it.”
As a result, a few seasons ago, despite the fact that the Columbian male side dominated the world stage with their skill and physical strength, a fully female Inter Campus side was born. The coach, Diana, follows the progress of the girls in the group with passion, strengthening a female bond which, we hope, although it starts off with institutions, will finally reach families. A message of hope and self-determination to give faith to the little girls who go out onto the pitch every day with the Inter jersey, which we hope functions as a shield against the many obstacles that they must overcome every day. Allowing them to go home strengthened by the big team of which they are a part: perhaps we will not solve the difficult social problems which the solicitor Mancera explained to us through football alone, but what is for sure is that we hope that we have started our own revolution from that little pitch in Yumbo.