Knotting the Peace and Gender Lace: Public Co-Educational Sport Zones in EEH Palestinian Refugee Camp – Lebanon

Final project
Year of publication:
Peace and Gender Equity
Number of pages:


Knotting the Peace and Gender Lace aims to create safe spaces for children while breaking down patriarchal ideas and structures that lead to sexism and violence against women. The spaces will be friendly, flexible, adaptable, accessible, multiuse sports fields for refugee girls and boys of all ages in the EEH Palestinian Refugee Camp. Local staff will train children of 8 to 12 years old in organized basketball, volleyball, and football in creative and flexible ways. Young athletes of 17 to 20 years old will staff the program, giving them coaching and youth programming experience. The one-year pilot program will also provide equipment, space, and supervision for free play. A coeducational sports space address the needs of the refugee community by offering a place for children to learn about and practice social cohesion, social skill building, mental and physical health, and gender equity. By creating a flexible space, several sports and activities can take place by using mobile baskets, goals, and nets and other age-appropriate play structures. Sports training and interactions help to change deeply sexist cultural norms by empowering girls (as athletes) and young women (as coaches and supervisors) and by exposing boys and young men to ideas and experiences of gender equity. In turn, safe, coeducational sports training and play, exercise, skill building, cooperation, friendly competition, parental participation and support, and pride in self and place, will promote a less violent society at every level.