The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has commenced, igniting the hearts of sports enthusiasts worldwide with a stunning opening ceremony. This year’s tournament is promising to be a thrilling spectacle, captivating audiences far and wide. However, what truly sets this edition apart is the well-deserved spotlight on the true stars of this global sporting event – the women!
In an unprecedented display of support, numerous campaigns have emerged, raising awareness of women’s issues both within the sports world and beyond. This month not only marks the commencement of the World Cup but also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Maputo Protocol, an international charter safeguarding the rights of women in Africa. This synchronicity magnifies the significance of this event in promoting gender equality.
One standout global campaign, “It’s a Penalty,” recently launched in Australia and Newzealand- the host countries of the FIFA 2023 World Cup, aims to combat child abuse, focusing on both its prevalence in sports and society in general. Collaborations like UN Women and FIFA’s “Football Unites the World Campaign” further reinforce the power of sports as a platform to foster awareness and drive positive change on gender-based violence and related issues.
On a more personal level, the debut of the Zambian team at the World Cup has been a moment of immense pride. The presence of young football star Evarine Susan Katongo, once a football coach with Tackle and now a role model for countless young women and girls aspiring to be athletes, adds to the growing inspiration for women in the sporting arena.
The visibility of this year’s World Cup is set to work wonders for the realm of women’s football and in championing gender equality. By continuing to use football as a medium to spread critical messages on gender inequality, gender-based violence, mental health, and more, we can each play a role in ensuring that these issues take centre stage.
As the tournament progresses, the passion and enthusiasm surrounding women’s football will undoubtedly reach new heights. Together, let us cherish and celebrate this empowering journey at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, as we strive to create a future where the achievements of women athletes receive the recognition they so rightly deserve.