FIFA Women’s Football and Leadership conference furthers equality reforms

The second edition of the FIFA Women’s Football and Leadership Conference held at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, on 7 March, provided a platform for debate on advancing women’s roles in football in the light of FIFA recently approved reforms to address gender imbalance, underrepresentation and under-resourcing of women’s football.

The conference was organised in two parts: the first, ‘Equality Through Reform’, brought together a wide range of voices from sport and wider society to discuss ways in which women’s football and women in football can be further promoted; and the second, reflected on how the new FIFA reforms can create better opportunities for women in football.

New FIFA President Gianni Infantino, FIFA World Cup Champion Abby Wambach and tennis legend Billie Jean King were among the conference's high-profile speakers.

"The conference room here today has been full of positive energy, full of goodwill, full of good intentions, and I take this all with me in order to focus in the future as well on making this conference not only a one-off event, but the start of a development which we all want to see to increase the women in football and the women’s football game,” said Infantino at the event.

Sports feminist and 12 Grand Slam singles title winner Billie Jean King said: “FIFA have the most unbelievable opportunity, this is their moment of truth to do something extraordinary, and that is to change the culture of FIFA, and that will help the world be a better place,

"And that’s why I said in my speech at the very end, instead of ‘For the game, for the world’, I put ‘For the game, for the girl, for the world’."

Fare Chair Raffaella Chiodo and Vice-Chair Raluca Negulescu were in attendance at the event, as well as the Fare Executive Director Piara Powar, and number of organisational members including DISCOVER FOOTBALL, BAAP, Swiss Minors and UISP.

The FIFA conference is aligned with the celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March) and provides an annual focal point for women in sport and leadership. It also forms part of governing body's commitment to promote, develop and invest in women’s football.

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