International Women’s Day saw OFC staff in Auckland help evolve one of our most important pieces of work in the last year. The Gender Equality Playbook was launched last November, but was never intended to be a static document, instead something that would grow thanks to data collected around the region.

The Playbook explores the barriers and strategic actions required to deliver greater equality in our region across the following interconnected areas:

  • Participation
  • Coaching
  • Leadership
  • Media and visibility
  • Sport Policy
  • Promoting Equality and Preventing violence

All these key pillars were explored in the workshop, with OFC Social Responsibility Impact Manager Chelsey Taylor saying:

“Since we launched the Playbook we’ve used it to develop programmes for girls aged 13-18 across the Pacific. Using the scorecard in the Playbook to understand where we are across the Pacific in terms of becoming gender-transformative, today’s workshop is about unpacking that internally with staff and seeing across the departments where we can makes plays towards gender equality.”

Her sentiments were echoed by OFC Leagues and Competitions Manager Steven Dillon, who stressed the need for male allyship in creating positive change.

“Certainly, its everybody’s responsibility to ensure that women in our sport have the opportunity to thrive and flourish. It’s so important for us to amplify the voices of women in our region,” he said.

“Within my role overseeing club and league development, we’d love to see developments in the league structures around the region. I don’t think they necessarily need to be the same as men’s competitions, but they need to be fit for purpose for players, coaches and administrators on and off the field.”

Girls and women don’t even need to be kicking the ball to be making a difference. OFC Head of Refereeing Kevin Stoltenkamp said that his experience at women’s football tournaments has taught him a lot.

“Women’s football is very exciting because there’s no histrionics. It’s very attacking, a lot of time with the ball in the field of play. It’s a positive because women have been given opportunities and exposure have performed just like their male counterparts. That extends to refereeing as well, we have seen great development to the point that we are going to be well represented at the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.”

To find out more about the Gender Equality Playbook, click here.