Why are we doing this?
The Equal Playing Field movement is about the challenge of taking on a world record that no one else, of any gender, has ever done.
It will provide a platform for women to support other women to achieve something incredible at a time when female athletes and leadership have never been more in the spotlight, and motivate more women to do so.
With all of this in mind, two years out from the next Women’s World Cup, the goal is to use our project to raise awareness and funding for women’s football development and organisations globally that support it. We are especially focused on sustainable structures that can connect girls with adult leagues so that they can play at any age: the existing NGOs, charities, social and competitive clubs, all the way up to national team programmes.
We want to:
- challenge the social norms for girls and women in sport, what kind of opportunities are available, the acceptance and respect they earn as athletes and individuals, and what they or anyone else thinks they can achieve. We are particularly bothered by the fact that globally the vast majority of girls give up sports by the time they are teenagers, often because that is what is pressured and expected by society, or because they are strictly forbidden from playing. We deserve better.
- acknowledge the systematic, structured inequality that girls and women face not only in sport but in most aspects of their lives, be it access to a classroom or respect in a boardroom, let alone on a football pitch.
We want to showcase positive, sporting role models for women and girls as we attempt one of the toughest challenges.
The barriers to participation by women are even higher in developing countries; poverty, lack of infrastructure and the perception of sport as 'masculine', all hold women back.
Football and sports have long been a means to transcend limitations and prejudice, so with this project we are using it to demonstrate our commitment to being believed as equals, and to inspire more women and men to push for it. Which is an important point to note – equalising the playing field has the support of men too. Because we all believe in what it represents and that the issues it raises are vital.
And yet, at its most fundamental, this is, more than anything, about the game and having the opportunity to play, as long as you want to, at as high a level as you are capable of, no matter who or where you are.