The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and UN Women have decided to join forces during the Women’s World Cup, scheduled to take place in Australia and New Zealand (July 20-August 20), to advance gender equality in football, and prevent abuse and discrimination on and off the pitch.
“The women participating in this World Cup are role models for all girls on this planet. Their strength and skills are an inspiration”said the Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, noting that this tournament reminds us that there are too many women and girls “who are excluded from the world of sport, and that even those who participate too often suffer discriminatory treatment and, in some cases, abuse”.
The largest audience in history
The 2023 FIFA tournament is expected to be watched by more than two billion people – the biggest audience in history for a single women’s sport, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in sport and to make a difference – both for women’s football and for gender equality, according to the UN.
“The Women’s World Cup shows us how much not just the players, but the whole world loses when we fail to give women and girls the same opportunities as men and boys.” said Bahous quoted by the UN press service.
To address some of these challenges and make progress in closing the gender gap in football, FIFA has increased the prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to $150 million, triple the amount in 2019, as part of a three-step plan for gender equality.
“Football unites the world”
The ‘Football Unites the World’ campaign will highlight key gender equality issues during the tournament.
Under this umbrella, UN Women joins forces with FIFA to call for action “Let’s unite for gender equality”in order to achieve gender equality as a fundamental human right and essential for a peaceful and sustainable world and “United to end violence against women”a call to end violence against women and girls, the most widespread human rights violation in the world.
” Our partnership with FIFA, particularly through the global ‘Football Unites the World’ campaign, reflects a serious commitment and ambition to tackle this issue for the benefit of all.”said the head of UN Women.
Armbands, flags in the service of gender equality
Both calls to action on gender equality will be promoted via team captains’ armbands, pitchside digital LED signs, large flags displayed on the pitch, giant screens in stadiums and through social media, according to the UN agency.
The message “Let’s unite for gender equality”we specify from the same source, will be broadcast on the third day (July 30-August 3, 2023) and the message “Let’s unite to end violence against women” will air during the semi-final (August 16, 2023).