Promising future for women's football in the Confederation
Miami, March 8, 2015 - On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, celebrated globally on March 8, CONCACAF recognizes women’s achievements and supports their significant efforts to drive a positive impact for equality, development, and peace worldwide.
"The football family congratulates women for their valuable achievements and determination to promote social change through their quest for equality and diversity,” said FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “CONCACAF is proud of the extraordinary role of female players, referees and leaders who advocate to further develop through this beautiful sport.”
Football empowers females as the sport’s universal nature constitutes a driving force that instills equality and fair play, while fostering the ongoing transformation of society. Football is a powerful platform that serves to encourage the education and development of women.
“Sport has the ability to transcend differences of sex, race, religion and nationality. In addition, sports help to build strong, positive role models that influence by their actions and their values. The experience of playing in teams, as well as following as fans, can boost girls’ self-confidence and leadership skills. The potential for sport to contribute to the empowerment of women and girls is huge,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, the organization that leads the international commemoration of the day. This year, events worldwide are held in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing at which 189 governments adopted a visionary roadmap for women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Women in Football
From launching girls’ grassroots programs, to hosting international competitions and innovative summits, to the creation of women’s football committees, and the expansion of career opportunities through the involvement of more women in the governance of the game, CONCACAF is leading the development of women’s football on and off the pitch.
2014 was a memorable year for the progression of the women’s game as the region hosted both of FIFA’s tournaments for youth players – the U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups in Costa Rica and Canada, respectively. In August 2014, CONCACAF conducted the first-ever Under-15 tournament for girls, in the Cayman Islands. In addition, Canada is in the process of preparing for FIFA Women's World Cup, which has expanded from 16 to 24 teams. These competitions are expected to leave a legacy for national teams and clubs, while creating a solid foundation for CONCACAF’s upcoming generations.
There are currently more than 26 million registered female players and 30 women’s football leagues at the national association level, including three futsal and three beach soccer leagues, throughout the region. In total, there are 25 youth leagues (U13, U15 and U17), which demonstrate the current focus on women’s youth development, as well as the potential for further growth.
Here is a look at the most important moments in women's football in 2014.