What can Western European organisations learn from successful sport programmes elsewhere about preventing gender-based violence and protecting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young women?
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This study investigates what Western European organisations can learn from sport programmes for adolescent girls and young women in the developing world about guarding them from gender-based violence (GBV) and protecting their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The study establishes that GBV and SRHR are sources for concern in Western Europe and that action needs to be taken to protect young women in Western Europe. To understand what action should be taken by Western European organisations the study examines the experiences of eight participants in Goal, a ‘sport plus’ programme for adolescent girls and young women in developing countries. It examines their experiences through the Most Significant Change story method, considers the GBV and SRHR challenges they face, and highlights patterns across stories. The study proposes that although the GBV and SRHR challenges described in the MSC stories are, on the surface, different to those faced by girls and women in Western Europe, there are shared themes across contexts. The study therefore recommends that Western European organisations using sport to work with adolescent girls and young women should take note of, and learn from, what Goal is doing. They should, in particular, focus on implementing comprehensive sex and relationships education, raising confidence and self-esteem, and countering sexual exploitation through teaching girls about their rights and giving them support.