International Women’s Day is celebrating its centenary today – an important milestone in the battle for women’s rightful place in society, a struggle that has at times been difficult and called for perseverance.
Women have also had to fight for recognition and equal rights in sport. As a body that accepts its responsibility and also leads the way in international football, FIFA endeavours to harness the power of football to bring about positive social change, particularly in the areas of health and education. Today, thanks to our consistent and tailor-made development work all around the world, girls and women can now play football in countries and cultures throughout the world. For millions of girls, playing football gives them personal confidence and skills, health, a safe social environment and freedom from the confines of social norms. FIFA invests in the development of women’s football and remains committed to creating opportunities for female players, coaches, referees and officials to become actively involved.
We have always believed that the future of football is feminine. Our intensive work and consistent approach to development means that we can now look back on our considerable success and also look forward to the future with a sense of confidence. 2011 is also a milestone for women in football as it marks the 20th anniversary of the very first FIFA Women’s World Cup™. With increasing investment over the years from grassroots through to the elite level, it is fitting that women’s football will come of age and celebrate in style at the sixth edition of the women’s flagship tournament in Germany from 26 June to 17 July.