The #WomenIntoSports conference addressed issues such as women in sport leadership positions, the development of women’s football in Latin America, the careers of sportswomen, and the role of media in promoting women’s sport. Over 150 participants attended the event on 4 November in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires.
María Fabiana Tuñez, president of the Argentinian Women’s National Council, opened the event by highlighting the importance of continuous work to increase the opportunities for women in decision-making positions in all areas of life, including the sports industry.
Other keynote speakers included Tajtana Haenni, FIFA Director of Women’s Competitions; María Sol Muñoz, CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) representative on the FIFA Council; María José Fabri Genskowsky, Vice-president of women’s football at the Chile Football Federation; Nair Ackerman, FIFA Match Commissioner; and Mónica Moccia, the communications head of Boca Juniors, a leading Argentinian club.
The conference consisted of a series of regional and international panels that looked at global issues, as well as national panel discussions that addressed the situation of Argentina, where there is a significant discrepancy between men’s and women’s football. While Argentinian men’s domestic and international football is seen as a reference point worldwide, the women’s national team is currently out of the FIFA rankings for not playing an international match in over 16 months.
FIFA Director Women’s Competitions, Tajtana Haenni, said: “I know that in Argentina there are female players; there are women here and they want to play. I believe they should be given that opportunity because women are part of society and like football, one cannot simply exclude 50% of the football population”.
FIFA Director Women’s Competitions, Tajtana Haenni, said: “Women’s football faces several obstacles because men’s football is very popular and dominates the market.
“I know that in Argentina there are female players; there are women here and they want to play. I believe they should be given that opportunity because women are part of society and like football, one cannot simply exclude 50% of the football population”.
María Sol Muñoz stressed a need for a cultural change in order to advance representation, “The change is needed not only at economic but cultural level, men need to start to look at women’s football as something normal and media need to put it on their agenda” explained Muñoz.
The initiative, supported and attended by Fare, was held at the Universidad Abierta Interamericana (UAI).