Pressure to be mothers

Topaz ? 3 years ago

For many #Mexican #women, parental pressures are only half of the equation. There’s also the expectation of their own parenthood.

Despite the fact that her side lost to the host nation in the finals at the 2010 Homeless World Cup in Río de Janiero, Brazil, Oaxaca-born captain Karina Robledo Espinosa was named the best player of the tournament. Her outstanding performance earned her an invitation to return to the program as the girls’ coach for the 2013 Cup in Poland, but Robledo had to decline. She was #pregnant. 

Communicating through a translator in a small concrete room under the bleachers at the university pitch in Oaxaca, I learn that she is pregnant again, but it’s not stopping her from organizing a women’s league.

“Women’s soccer was dead [in Oaxaca] so we wanted to rescue it”, Robledo explains. “It is only our third day and this is the first tournament.” She tells me that nearly 30 women have signed up.

When I ask her to describe what it feels like when she’s playing, she responds rapidly, excitedly. The translator says, “She is out of words. She can’t describe it because it is too emotional. She says it’s the best.”

Two girls in school uniform are listening in on the interview and, as I’m wrapping up with Robledo, one of them asks to speak to me. Andrea Bretón Evangelista is 19 years old and a student at the university. She says she wants to study sports marketing so she can open up a soccer centre for women. “That’s what I’d like because there is no support for women’s soccer,” she says. “We’re equals and now woman play really good. We deserve it.” I ask about her family. “Sometimes my family supports me, but they also say that I am a woman and that only men should play.” She pauses. “It’s very difficult, and my father doesn’t like that I play. But I play anyway.”

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