International Women's Day

Women of Watford breaking down barriers for female fans

8 Mar 2022
Women of Watford FC v2

Christian Kabasele meets the women's supporters' club promoting equality in Watford

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This International Women's Day, we are hearing from fans, community participants and inspiring women working in football to see how the Premier League and our clubs are working to promote gender equality in the game.


Last summer, Hornets fan Kate Lewers formed the Women of Watford FC (WoW) supporters' club to promote a more diverse fanbase and to inspire future generations of female fans.

Drawing on her own experiences, Kate was determined to break down barriers that discourage some female fans from attending matches, especially away from home, by creating a safe space for women supporters.

"Female safety was a real hot topic last year and we just got chatting with the club about 'What more can football do to make football safer for women?'" she says.

"We decided the starting point would be creating a community of female fans and just seeing where it took us."

The group has been a roaring success, with more than 200 members joining.

"A real positive from it has just been this community of women that none of us really seem to have had before," Kate says. "It really confirms that this is a good idea and it's not just me that feels like this.

"We're so used to seeing groups of men go to football together. Well, wouldn't it be great if it became normal to see a group of women going to the football?"

'Safe haven'

This community of Watford fans is also providing a welcoming atmosphere for those who would not otherwise want to attend on their own, such as single mums with football-mad sons.

"WoW is a safe haven for that," says member Laura Goodes. "We don't want to change the matchday experience for male supporters, we just want to make ours better."

As part of International Women's Day, Watford men's Christian Kabasele talked with Kate and Laura about the group and about his own work in promoting equality and challenging discrimination.

"It's great that the club give this chance to women who want to be involved in football to express themselves," the defender says.

Also in this series

Part 1: Brighton giving Lexi the chance to realise football dreams
Part 3: 'Football can influence society and break the gender bias'
Part 4: How Mariela became Norwich's scouting pioneer
Part 5: Crystal Palace offer Lauren chance to follow her dream

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