FIFA and UN Women celebrate International Women’s Day in India – Reuters

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the Women’s U17 World Cup in India 2022 partnered with UN Women and the United Nations in India to pave the way for the Women’s World Cup up to 17 years old. The Cup, which will be held from 11 to 30 October 2022.

The purpose of the event, held on March 8, 2022, was to strengthen the commitment to create a level playing field for women and girls, using the mass appeal of football to promote positive change in the world.

On the UN lawns where the event was held, young footballers from the UNHCR refugee football team, girls from Simapuri and Jamia Nagar, as well as appointed coaches from the E-legacy LOC FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 program appeared, licensed to participate in several football events. The participants were joined by dignitaries from the UN in India and the Organizing Committee.

The collaboration will focus on accelerating efforts to promote women’s leadership and equality in governance models, prevent and respond to gender-based violence, address the investment gap in women’s sports and expand economic opportunities, and promote women’s equal participation and fair representation in the media. and provide equal opportunities for girls in sports, physical activity and physical education.

Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, said: “Children’s participation in sports directly leads to the development of many important skills. And with their many outstanding performances, Indian women are more visible in sports than ever before,” Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, said at the event.

“However, women still face barriers that men don’t – they are less likely to play organized sports when they are younger and there is a huge gap between what male and female athletes get while women’s sports receives much less funding and media attention. Despite these challenges, I see examples of Indian women achieving outstanding results in sports everywhere,” he added.

Sarai Bareman, Director of FIFA Women’s Football, said: “On International Women’s Day, this event provided an important opportunity for young Indian girls and women footballers to learn and play football. As interest and hype grows for the Women’s Under-17 World Cup to be held in India later this year, FIFA and the local organizing committee look forward to working closely with Indian organizations such as UN Women and exploring how to empower women and girls. to India to play football and use the tournament as a platform to continue important conversations and inspire positive change.

The event included a 3v3 match between players aged 8-11 from UNHCR, FIFA and CEQUIN, an NGO that uses sport for development, as well as congratulations to female coaches trained through the Tournament Coach Education Scholarship Program. . The United Nations Resident Coordinator has attached badges of honour, the Indian flag emblem intersecting the United Nations flag, to reinforce the UN’s commitment to promoting women and girls in sport in India.

“Since its inception, the Local Committee has made a concerted, consistent and focused effort to create a platform for women – regardless of their social, sociological and financial status – to achieve success, empowerment and leadership. Through football development initiatives, the Organizing Committee is already empowering women in leadership positions, employment and self-sufficiency.

“This event, held in collaboration with UN Women and the United Nations in India, brought new lessons from empowerment, economic justice and a step towards achieving a level playing field in society,” said Nandini Arora, Project Manager LOC.

Dalima Chhibber, Indian women’s soccer player said: “This event is a great example of the impact football can have on young people from all walks of life. An important step towards an equitable future is to enable girls to take on leadership roles so that they can become confident women tomorrow, regardless of their profession.

“It was also very gratifying to see that the Trainers Scholarship Program participants have the opportunity to pass on their skills to young girls with such enthusiasm. The future of women’s football looks bright with more grassroots representation, and in the future, football can play a critical role in maintaining equality in society.

Speaking about the importance of sport as a tool for gender equality, UN Women National Representative Susan Ferguson said: “We are proud to partner with the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India to bring young girls into football. . Sports are an important focus of the Generation Equality movement. Together, we can level the playing field by using football to create an ecosystem that promotes the participation of women and girls in leadership positions. We know for sure that these young athletes are #KisiSeKumNahin.

The Organizing Committee of the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India and UN Women India will work closely to organize more such events with governments, international organizations, private sector, media and sports organizations to make football more accessible to women and girls and broadcast a variety of sports content to promote gender equality.

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