Press release: Women’s World Cup 2023 – UN Women and FIFA join forces for gender equality

19 JULY 2023 

New York — UN Women and FIFA are coming together during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand 2023 (20 July to 20 August 2023) to celebrate the skills and achievements of the teams and players, to advance gender equality in football, and to prevent abuse and discrimination on and off the field.

The 2023 tournament is expected to be seen by more than two billion people—the largest audience in history for a single women’s sport—which offers an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievement in sport and to move the needle, both for women’s football and for gender equality. 

Globally, women players continue to struggle with fewer professional opportunities, a massive pay gap, fewer sponsorships, less airtime, and unequal playing conditions. When women players do succeed, they regularly face a toxic backlash of abuse online and offline.

To address some of these challenges and advance in closing the gender gap in football, FIFA raised the prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to USD 150 million—triple the amount in 2019—as part of a three-step gender equality plan. The “Football Unites the World” campaign will highlight major gender equality issues during the tournament.

Let’s unite for gender equality, so everyone can play!

The FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand from 20 July to 20 August 2023. This will be the first time that 32 nations are competing in the Women’s World Cup. When girls play and learn, we all win. Donate now and help UN Women level the playing field for women and girls everywhere.

Women’s World Cup 2023
Women’s World Cup 2023

Under this umbrella, UN Women is partnering with FIFA on two calls to action: the first to “Unite for Gender Equality”, to realize gender equality as a fundamental human right and as critical for a peaceful and sustainable world; and the second to “Unite for Ending Violence against Women”, a call to end violence against women and girls as the most pervasive human rights violation worldwide.

“The women competing in this World Cup are role models for every girl on this planet”, said UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous. “Their strength and skills are inspirational. At the same time, this tournament is a reminder that there are too many women and girls who are excluded from the world of sport, and that even for those who do participate too often experience discriminatory treatment and, even in some cases, abuse. The Women’s World Cup shows us how much not only they but the whole world misses out on when we fail to afford women and girls the same opportunities as men and boys. Our partnership with FIFA, including on the global ‘Football Unites the World’ campaign, reflects a serious commitment and ambition to address that for everyone’s benefit.”

The two calls to action on gender equality will be promoted via the team captains’ armbands, pitch side digital LED boards, large flags presented on the pitch, giant screens in stadiums, and via social media. “Unite for Gender Equality” will be the featured message on match day 3 (30 July – 3 August 2023) and “Unite to End Violence against Women” will be the designated message during the Semi-Final (15 August 2023).

The Women’s World Cup is about women players scoring amazing goals, but the most important goal of all is gender equality. Donations towards these initiatives that will help UN Women in the fight for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in and through sport can be made here:

Five other UN agencies have joined the “Football Unites the World” cause activation, including UNESCO, UNHCR, UN Human Rights Commission, World Food Programme, and World Health Organization.

Media contact: Inés Esteban González, Media and Communications Specialist, UN Women
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About Football Unites the World: Football Unites the World is a global movement to inspire, unite and develop through football.

About UN Women: UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

About FIFA: The Fédération internationale de football association is the international governing body of association football.

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