Sunday March 8th is International Women’s Day.
In 1908 against a backdrop of terrible working conditions and exploitation, 15,000 women took to the streets of New York protesting for shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1910, International Women’s Day went global and the first International Women’s Day was held in 1911 when more than a million people turned out to rallies in Europe.
To bring IWD into perspective, 87,000 women are killed each year because they are women. Of those, 50,000 are killed by their male partners or family members. 111 Countries have no repercussions for husbands who rape their wife. 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choices of jobs as men. 14% is the size of Australia’s gender pay gap. 45 countries do not have laws against domestic violence and 35% of women globally have experienced sexual or physical violence.
To celebrate all women and promote further equality, in their diversities and bring attention to IWD, we looked into our own football family and asked the women of ESFA what International Women’s Day means to them. Frankly speaking, we have incredible strong and compassionate women in football!
Here is a snippet of some of our inspirational women within the ESFA football clubs community.
Randwick City Football Club
“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on how far we have come due to the pioneer Women in history who fought for equality and proved they can do anything anyone else can do. Most recently, the Matilda’s who fought for pay equality and won! I’m inspired to be part of such an inclusive football club that shows off their women’s achievements with pride and supports us every step of our journey. This Women’s Day is a reminder to keep lifting up the women around you in your family, in the workplace and of course on the field”
Coogee United Football Club
Player for 15 years with Coogee (longest serving club member at Coogee)
“To me, it is a day to recognise the achievements and value of women. It is a day to reflect on the progress that has been made to achieve gender equality, but also recognise what needs to be done to have a world where men and women have the same rights and opportunities”
South East Eagles Football Club
Club Secretary (2015 to present), Team Manager (2015 to present) and Captain of AAW Division 5
“In my view, International Women’s Day means it is a day for us to join voices with people around the world and shout our message for equal rights loud and clear: ‘Women’s rights are human rights!’. On this day we celebrate all women, in all diversities: race, religion, disability and sexuality. We speak up for those women who are marginalized, poor, disadvantaged and who have no voice. I am proud to be involved with football in Australia as it recognizes, promotes and supports women in sport.”
Pagewood Botany Football Club
Girls G12-17 Coordinator and AAW player
“International Women’s Day on a personal level is a great opportunity to celebrate your achievements no matter how great or small. We all face challenges in our lives, some more than others, but at the end of the day we all deserve a moment to ourselves to be proud and to smile at all we have achieved. We should also be reminded on this day, that we are stronger together, have each other’s back and build each other up and don’t bring each other down.”
Waverley Old Boys Football Club
Head of Women’s Football
“IWD is a reminder that while we have come so far, there is still a long way to go to really achieve equality in society, business and sport. I remember growing up and playing football as the only girl in a boys’ team. I had to change for matches in the school mini bus because boys schools we were playing against, had no female toilets! There were no female commentators, coaches or women’s football matches on TV and play football as a career for a young girl, was a ridiculous dream. Now in 2020, all of this is reality, but we are still not there yet and there’s so much more we can achieve, so let’s all be #EachforEqual.”
Mascot Kings Football Club
“It’s my passion to make football accessible to as many people as possible, especially girls and women, because our amazing game has the ability to give women a platform to build each other up, learn how to be a team player and a leader, plus most importantly connect with like-minded women.”
Maroubra United Football Club
Volunteer for over 25 years and player for 15 years
“Supporting women across the world to be given the support in any of their endeavours. Whether that is with education, closing the pay gap, the opportunity to represent their community/club/country in any sport (football hopefully!!), respect in the workplace or at home or in public. It’s so important to have days like these to raise the awareness in society and I hope to set an example not only to my daughter, but other young ladies in the community to be strong, independent women and know that they can achieve anything they set their mind to. Did you know that there are 500 million women in the world that are illiterate, which makes up 2/3 of the world’s illiterate population.”
Glebe Wanderers Football Club
Player, team manager and unofficial photographer
“IWD is about promoting and supporting women in everything they do. With regards to football, I have a passion to support and grow women’s football locally in Sydney at grassroots level and make it accessible to women and girls of all ages and abilities. I’ll be celebrating IWD early by watching the Matildas play in the Olympic Qualifiers”
We encourage all women to strive for equality in work as well as life, to protest violence against women, to build each other up and from one sister to many, this reporter and her fellow sister in the ESFA office, think that women are the foundation of the world, as well as the world of football! In what was and still is a male dominated sport, football is providing opportunities for women that were not there before thanks to those who have fought before us. Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands for all women.
Wear purple on March 8th, it is the colour of justice and dignity and the colour of International Women’s Day, remembering we will not progress towards gender equality without men’s support in making a difference.