Human towers reach new heights with seven-story all-women construction

Records and barriers (but no people) tumbled in the exceptional effort this weekend to mark International Women's Day

Dozens of women took part in the world record human tower
Dozens of women took part in the world record human tower / Daniel Wittenberg

Daniel Wittenberg | Barcelona

March 11, 2019 02:26 PM

For the first time ever in the centuries-old Catalan tradition-come-sport of building human towers, a team has managed to construct a five-by-seven tower made up entirely of women.

An all-female troop from the Castellers de Barcelona – one of the main clubs taking part in the exercise of making what are known as castells – pulled off the unprecedented feat in the city of Vilafranca del Penedès, 50 kilometres outside Barcelona, on Sunday afternoon.

There was a tense build-up to the world record attempt as the troop started by repeating their best performance of 2018 – a three-by-seven castell – before upping the ante to incorporate five women on each of the seven storeys of the tower, with tens of women featured.

The Castellers de Barcelona have been one of the pioneers of gender equality in the sport, which is almost unique in that people of all shapes and sizes are necessary for success.

Their display, coming on the weekend of International Women's Day, acted as a tribute to local women who dedicated their lives to defending women's rights and gender equality.