Webster’s soccer and softball teams, joined by Chancellor Elizabeth Stroble, went to Webster Groves City Hall on Oct. 5 to sign the red card pledge.
In soccer, a player who receives a red card is automatically ejected from the game. This same concept is being adopted by the African Renaissance Diaspora Network (ARDN) to eject all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
On Oct. 5, Webster’s soccer and softball teams, along with Chancellor Elizabeth Stroble, joined together with ARDN at Webster Groves City Hall to take the red card pledge.
Stroble said joining the Red Card Campaign is an important step toward ending violence and discrimination against all the girls across the world.
The Red Card Campaign was first launched on March 6, 2020. The original goal was to bring light to the many forms of mistreatment facing women across all nations. This was to be accomplished by having a minimum of one million people take the red card pledge. According to ardn.ngo, ARDN wants to accomplish this target number by the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
According to Stroble, this pledge is a tangible and symbolic way for people to say, ‘I’m going to take a stand against violence and discrimination.’
“The pledge is important, but it’s the actions we take that will tell the tale,” Stroble said. “It is a globally important topic. It isn’t just in one community or another.”
According to Stroble, Webster was founded as a women’s institute at a time where it was normal for women to receive their bachelor’s degree. She said Webster has always been an institution which opens doors and breaks down barriers.
Softball player Sheyla Iniguez said the Red Card Campaign allowed women in sports to feel like they belong in the athletic world.
“In that City Hall today, I felt proud to be a woman,” Iniguez said. “It was a very inclusive environment. I felt like I was finally being heard.”
According to a statistic from the United Nations, one in three women in our society has been a victim of physical or sexual violence in their life. Along with this, over 200 million women have been subject to female genital mutilation and over 750 million young women are married before they turn 18.
On ardn.ngo, Djibril Diallo, President and CEO of ARDN, said he wants the Red Card Campaign to be a beacon toward creating a global movement that will ensure the equal rights and treatment all women deserve.
Stroble said seeing all the women from the soccer and softball teams standing up for this pledge at City Hall was really encouraging and hearting for her.
“It wasn’t all that long ago that women could even compete in most sports but it wasn’t considered okay,” Stroble said. “The world of athletics was considered exclusively a men’s field, and it still in some cases works that way. This is about making sure whether you are a man or a woman, you get to live the full life you deserve to live as a human being.”
On ardn.ngo, Stroble said the Red Card Campaign is special to Webster because it is committed to creating a strong and inclusive future for all students.
Senior Infielder Taylor Jackson and junior outfielder Emma Steltzer said this pledge is very empowering and brings them hope for the future.