International Women's Day

Football United's Community Coordinator Assmaah Helal, looks at the world of Sport for Development and Peace to celebrate the achievements of women and #pledgeforparity. 

 “Football today is overwhelmingly male – not because women and girls are inherently disinterested or incapable, but rather due to decades of institutional and social barriers that prevent them from playing.”

Moya Dodd

Vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation and a member of the FIFA Executive Committee

 

Football embraces equal participation opportunities for males and females. But in most cases the environment is dominated by male coaches, male managers and male role models. Female coaches, administrators and role models are vital components for ongoing participation and increasing equality.

TheWomensGame’s recent report, “Girls football participation hits all-time high”, highlights the reasons for increased participation of football for girls from minority groups and migrant communities, and makes specific reference to Football United’s role in this achievement.

Football United is able to address this gender bias and provides access to coaching qualifications and opportunities to use these skills within their community. Over 40% of Football United coaches are female. The gender balanced environment provided by Football United not only increases short term participation amongst females but also the long term opportunities to grow and diversify the volunteer and paid workforce available to Football in Australia.

The strategic aims of Strong Women, Strong World are focused on:

  1. SAFE SPACES: Providing culturally appropriate sporting activities and environments for girls and their families, particularly from refugee and migrant backgrounds to participate comfortably.  i.e. girls only spaces, creating a safe space, building positive relationships with families and schools, providing inspiring female role models from within the community to coach. 
  2. ROLE MODELS: Build the capacity of young women from diverse communities with the skills required to navigate life effectively and contribute to the wider Australian community as agents of positive social change i.e. through coach education, advocacy training, mentoring and leadership camps and forums.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Football United facilitates an annual Strong Women. Strong World forum inviting program participants and inspiring female leaders identified through corporate and community partners from various professions to share stories, challenges, and provide an opportunity to network and engage in capacity building activities.

What more can you do to leverage sport to consistently provide equal opportunities for women and girls?