Ámbito.com, an online news website, revealed that among the 30 teams that constitute Argentina’s first division only 3,6% of the decision-making positions are held by women. Out of 529 jobs available in Argentinian professional football, 19 are occupied by women, 13 amongst the 30 top clubs.
Commenting on the numbers, Evelina Cabrera, founder and President of Argentina’s Women’s Football Association, said: “We live in a extremely sexist society, where people still think that men know more than women when it comes to football, so they have more opportunities.
“The boards and directive commissions of football are a mirror of society. I see similarities with what happens in Argentina at large, there is a gender gap in the workplace.”
Amongst the country’s top five clubs, only Independiente has a woman at Director level, Liliana Toribio, the Treasurer of the club.
“Women can take decisions and we are currently witnessing a change in many areas, women are taking leadership, making themselves visible and showing their capacity.
“Gender has nothing to do with suitability,” added Cabrera.
Despite the growing interest and involvement of women in men’s football, numbers continue to show that football structures still do not mirror this change. In 2013, during elections at the River Plateclub , amongst 41.187 voting members 6.740 were women, 19.5% of the total voters. However, the club’s Board of Directors continued without a woman seated on its decision-making jobs.
The numbers shown highlight similarities between Argentina and Europe. In 2014, Fare published a report addressing the issue of underrepresentation in European football, which revealed that only 3.7% of all Presidents, vice-Presidents and Executive Committee members at the time were women.
In November, Buenos Aires hosted the first Latin American conference on women in leadership positions and the development of women’s football to debate the challenges for women in South and Central America, where the report was presented as part of Fare’s experience on the issue.
At the event, María Sol Muñoz, CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) representative on the FIFA Council, stressed a need for a cultural change in order to advance representation.