Girls and women want to be respected for their abilities, to be treated fairly, to be encouraged, to feel important, to be challenged, to strive to be their best, to create friendships and to feel like they’re part of a group. They want to win, to score goals, to excel in performance, to play with style, to be tough, to be committed, to travel, to be healthy, to be physically attractive and to be free to choose their own destiny with their bodies and activities. They also want to bring the positive lessons they’ve learned through soccer and sports into their education, careers, businesses, relationships and lifestyle.
To get to this place, here is what women need
—and deserve—from sports:
- The choice to play and enjoy being active
- To play, referee or coach without ridicule or violence
- To be supported by family, friends and community
- To have adequate equipment and equal access to fields
- To have organizational structures for practices, games and leagues
- To learn and be guided by experienced coaches and trainers
- To have a hierarchy of levels to strive towards from recreational to professional leagues, high school to university, national to international championships including the Olympic Games and the World Cup
- To have equitable financial backing at national and professional levels, allowing players to train regularly and to earn a living through sport
- To be recognized by media and the community
- To gain sponsorship and financial rewards to support the commitment and sacrifices they have made to dedicate their lives to full-time training
- To have a say in their own game
- To create professional leadership career opportunities such as coaching, management, scouting, governance and logistics
- To have frontline decision making opportunities and paid leadership roles, rather than just being relied on as volunteers
- To receive help, if needed to be able to compete. Lower-income, immigrant and and First Nations communities are under-represented.
Goals for women’s soccer in Canada – A 5-year plan
- Girls and women represent 47% of registered players in Canada and create 47% of revenue through their membership. According to Statistics Canada, women represent more than 50% of the population.
- 47% or more of federal/provincial taxpayers funding towards soccer deserves to be given to women/girls programming.
- 47% of national team funding should go to the women’s program.
- 47% of representation and decision making on the CSA and provincial boards deserves to be female.
- 47% of professional coaches at the local club, high performance, provincial, professional and national programs should be female.
- Cities across Canada can mandate this through the use of equity laws and field access in their sports programming, ensuring clubs are funding and hiring women according to the percentage of membership in their clubs.
- For example: If a club is spending $100,000 on development and 50% of their membership is female, then 50% of the funding should go to female coaches. Vancouver has equity laws in their sports mandate. In order for a soccer club to rent soccer fields, they have to prove equity in their professional staff and funding.
- A Women’s Pro League should be included with the Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact and Toronto FC, all of whom receive provincial and federal funding and use girls and women to market for sponsorship dollars.
- The Women’s Coaching Course Center should be organized and run by female coaches. FIFA has established a coaching education program throughout the world run by female leaders with an emphasis on how to best train girls and women, to encourage the development of female coaches, and to emphasize equity with male coaches.