Girls and boys equally love to play games. However, girls and young women are discouraged to play in our society after a certain age – say 8 years. Girls are required to stay indoors, and help their mothers with household chores. The society ignores the importance of games, pleasure, and physical activities in girls’ lives.
Bedari, keeping in mind the objective of improving girls’ lives, organized games for young girls (age group 13-19 years) in Multan and Vehari in February 2016. A total of 36 girls from vulnerable and disadvantaged communities took part in various local games – Kokla Chappaki, Shtappu, and skipping rope. They were very excited about it. The interest and the sentiments of the girls and young women can be gauged from the following impressions:
I don’t remember when I played last time in my life, while my brothers go out daily to play cricket and other games. I also want to play like my brothers but …..” (17 year old Shahida, Vehari)
Whenever I tried to play with my friends in my home, my mother and grandmother discouraged and said you should learn cooking and other household chores instead of wasting time in such activities. (14 year old Zehra, Vehari)
Today by playing Kokla Chappaki, I screamed as loud as I could. I enjoyed a lot while playing this game with my friends and age fellows. I am so happy today. (15 year old Maheen, Multan)