A key part of the ALL IN: OFC Women’s Football Strategy 2027 launched last year was to establish a Women’s Development Officer in every OFC Member Association. With that goal now achieved, we sit down to learn a little more about each of the women driving the growth of women’s football in our region.
A Vanuatu Football Federation WDO since March last year, Margreatte Iati was initially encouraged to apply for the role by friends who knew of her passion for football.
Has football always been part of your life?
Yes! I am the eldest child of four and I am thankful for the support from my family when it came to doing something I love, which is working in the sport of football. I have always wanted to learn about football operations and I love working with young people.
I doubted I would get through to the interview stage for this role, but I did and I love it.
What are some of the challenges that exist when it comes to women’s football in Vanuatu?
Women love playing football in Vanuatu but culturally it can be difficult to accept – and this can make my role difficult at times.
In Vanuatu a women’s role is traditionally taking care of the home. This creates a cultural barrier for them to pursue football as they don’t have the time to train or play.
But the interest and participation of women in football has increased. More women are getting involved and are subsequently inspiring those who are not.
Why is the development of women’s football so important to you?
I love working in the sporting environment and empowering women through football is my passion.
The participation of women in football is important to me because I want to be a part of the change. I also believe different environments provide an opportunity to learn.
I hope to help women achieve their football dreams and grow the game together.