How soccer and goals make better relationships


Published 16.09.20
Photo credit:
John Peltier/flickr

Lessons on gender parity and staying healthy reduced intimate partner violence and led goal-minded girls to choose age-appropriate and ‘better’ boys

This video is based on a paper by Manisha Shah and Jennifer Seager presented at the 2020 ASSA Annual Meeting.

Adolescent sexual and reproductive outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa are some of the worst in the world, with intimate partner violence being highly prevalent amongst 15-24 year-olds. In this video, Manisha Shah discusses a randomised controlled trial she and her co-authors ran in Tanzania with BRAC’s empowerment and livelihood for adolescents (ELA) clubs. In one arm of the intervention, girls’ partners playing soccer are taught important lessons on respecting women, while in another arm girls are taught how to set goals to stay healthy. Girls in these after-school clubs reported decreased intimate partner violence, with the results indicating a quantity effect (i.e. fewer partners and a decline in sexual activity). Goal-setting girls also chose similar-age ‘better’ boys (more likely to be in school and use contraceptives), pointing to a quality effect.