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Exploring Gender in Women’s Australian Rules Community Football Clubs in Western Australia.


Project Overview:  Since the first official Women’s Australian Rules Football (AFLW) game in 2017, we have seen a rapid increase in women’s and girls’ participation in community Australian Rules Football teams. The AFLW and women’s participation in community clubs has highlighted systemic inequities that have historically hampered women’s, girls’, and transgender and gender-diverse people’s ability to feel fully included in these spaces. This, in turn, means many people are missing out on the many social, physical, and emotional benefits of community sports. 

This project will evolve over three phases   and aims to explore gender norms and expectations within community women’s Australian Rules Football clubs in Western Australia (WA). In doing so, it will piece together multiple intertwining aspects of complex gendered cultural phenomena to better understand and address the root of gender inequities within AFLW contexts and facilitate access to community footy.















Outputs: This study is in its preliminary stages. Any research outputs that result from this study will be accessible here, as they are released. 

Impact: This research is designed to enhance the inclusion, participation, and cultural richness of women’s community football in WA. Sexism, transphobia, and sexual harassment remain pressing issues in women’s football codes worldwide. The AFL is a national leader in the area of gender inclusion and community clubs are unique sites in which to study these pressing phenomena. Currently, research exploring how gender inclusion policies are implemented and experienced by various stakeholders is lacking. This study will analyse any social and material impacts of policies and discourses about gender in AFLW for people wishing to participate in community football. 

Advisory Committee: A range of key stakeholders from various levels of community football will be engaged to ensure that this research meets the needs of the stakeholders it wishes to serve. This advisory committee of 6-8 key community members provide input into each phase of the research. The committee may include players, leaders, executives, coaches, volunteers, or anyone who is actively involved in a football club in WA. The group will meet twice/year online during the project.


If you would like to express your interest in joining the Advisory Committee, please contact Hanna here

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