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  • Writer's pictureWomen in Football

We haven't really come that far

In all the hype we will experience when it comes to co-hosting the 2023 Women's World Cup on home soil in a little more than four months, it's important not to lose sight of the big picture of women in football.

Yes, there have been welcome, giant, and overdue strides for the professional women's game. Players such as Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Hayley Raso, and more, have rightly had their skill, talent, and commitment recognised and rewarded playing at the highest levels which is how it should be.

The A-League Women's competition is set to expand further which will give more opportunities for more young women in the game.

But away from the professional levels and off-the-field, has that much changed?

A quick look at the two top jobs (Chair and CEO) in each of our ten federations and twelve A-League clubs gives you the answer. It's a resounding no. From the 44 positions, only three (6.8%) are occupied by women: two chairperson roles (Victoria and South Australia), and one CEO role (Melbourne Victory). It's nothing short of a disgrace and totally out-of-step with the general workforce.

Of course, just like on-the-field where we learned this week that a National Second Division for women is still something in the distant future - maybe - the top of the pyramid is not the only place where action is needed.

At Women in Football we have long held the view that grassroots is where real change must happen for there to be a lasting impact and legacy on the game.

This point was also made in the research Women in Football supported, conducted by A/Professor Jorge Knijnik of Western Sydney University, which we mentioned last month. In essence, that research concludes that systemic change is needed for there to be a lasting legacy from the 2023 World Cup.

So while we enjoy all the positive things that have happened for women and women in football, let's not lose sight of the ongoing need to really #embraceequity in order to achieve genuine and lasting change.

Happy International Women's Day 2023.


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