“Policy coherence and programmes to strengthen women’s leadership in male-dominated sports federations and organisations are worth exploring as a strategic way for ASEAN’s efforts in gender mainstreaming,” said Rodora T. Babaran, Director of Human Development, ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Department, ASEAN Secretariat.
The workshop dedicated to women’s football is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding between FIFA and ASEAN signed in 2019 which is geared towards increasing the number of women and girls playing sports in the ASEAN region; encouraging women’s leadership in sports and providing women and girls more access to sports in safe environments.
During the interactive workshop held virtually on Tuesday December 7, FIFA and ASEAN were joined by the ASEAN Member States through the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Sports and FIFA Member of Associations to discuss how women’s football can be a driver to change the narrative in the region.
Topics such as leadership, communication and FIFA’s Women’s Development Programmes were presented by FIFA staff, along with an inspirational presentation by youth speaker, Jessica Hutting from Kampus Diakoneia Modern Foundation in Indonesia who works on Street Children Rescue and Community Empowerment through football.
Speaking to the ASEAN government and member association representatives during the official opening of the workshop, FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman spoke about the unmatched opportunity offered by women’s football to advance the positions of women and girls in our society.
“This is a really important occasion for women’s football in the region, which will not only bring the nations of ASEAN closer together, but also bring FIFA closer to you,” Bareman said. “We all share the same objectives for the women’s game and is up to us, to make these objectives a reality.
“Women’s football is an incredible catalyst for social development and advancing the positions of women and girls in society. The opportunity that football provides to change the lives of girls and women are unmatched. Our game has the power to change perceptions and overcome barriers.
“As we look ahead to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, the importance of this workshop cannot be understated. Hosting the biggest women’s sporting event in the world in your backyard will have a profound effect on women’s football in your region, for decades to come,” Bareman said.
Five ASEAN nations – Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – will participate in the AFC Asian Women’s Cup in India between 20 January to 6 February 2022, which will serve as the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Five teams will qualify directly via the knockout stage (including play-offs for fifth place or possibly sixth place), and two more teams will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.