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Oceania football advocate for gender equality in the region

International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022 was celebrated by the Oceania Football Confederation and its Member Associations on March 8, with children, football staff and administrators in the region all doing their part to pledge support for gender equality.

This year’s theme was #BreakTheBias and aimed to call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotypes, whether deliberate or unconscious.

The IWD 2022 pose, which saw people stand with crossed arms, was to show solidarity and encourage more people to show their support for a more inclusive world.

At a Confederation level, OFC announced an exciting new partnership with the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office through the Pacific Partnership.

The multi-year partnership focuses on making football safer and more accessible for women and girls, while promoting gender equality, supporting women’s empowerment and helping to discourage violence in the Pacific.

OFC’s first Women’s Symposium in 1999 with Antoinette’s recognition of her mother. Photo Credit: OFC Media.

OFC also shared images from the first Women’s Football Symposium in 1999, which current Solomon Islands Women’s Development Officer Antoinette Miniti’s mother was part of.

“I was nine years old at the time and from what I can remember she was already involved with the Marist Women’s Football Club, but I had no idea she represented the Federation at that meeting,” Miniti said.

“I recognised her straight away in the photo, her and my dad have been driving factors in my involvement with women’s football.”

The Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Fiji also showed their support online through social media.

 

Samoa and Tahiti meanwhile hosted Just Play festivals in collaboration with their women’s football departments to celebrate the occasion. Tahiti’s festival had over 150 participants.

New Zealand spent the month of March rolling out their Girls and Women’s Month 2022 campaign which included ‘have a go days’, school festivals and all-female coaching and refereeing courses.

OFC Women’s Football Manager Emma Evans said IWD provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the great work that is taking place across the region.

“A key priority in the ALL IN: OFC Women’s Football Strategy 2027 is to increase the visibility of women in football in order to influence perceptions and behaviours,” Evans said.

“It is also to inspire the next generation and ensure women in football are seen, valued and celebrated for what they achieve.

“We were thrilled to see our Member Associations get behind this vision on IWD and we look forward to seeing this level of celebration of women’s football and women in football continue across all platforms, in the days, months and years to come.”

Papua New Guinea Football Association show their support for IWD 2022. Photo Credit: PNGFA Media.

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