Photo: UN Women/Dzilam Méndez

In Focus: Women and Girls in Sport

Top stories | Videos | Social Media |

Sport has the power to change lives. By teaching women and girls teamwork, self-reliance, resilience and confidence, sport is one of the great drivers of gender equality. Women in sport defy gender stereotypes and social norms, make inspiring role models, and show men and women as equals.

As some of the world’s top women athletes—including UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Marta Vieira da Silva—prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France (7 June – 7 July), we’re celebrating the remarkable achievements and unmatched potential of women and girls in sport, and calling for action to address issues such as unequal pay, gender-based violence and lack of targeted investment that would enable more women and girls to have a career in sport.

With support from UN Women, women and girls around the world are levelling the playing field, both in sport and beyond. In Brazil and Argentina, girls are learning critical life-skills while playing sport; in Jordan, football camps for girls are helping to build better relationships between local communities and refugees; and in the Pacific, a partnership with Oceania Rugby is working to end violence against women.


Top stories

A group of girl rugby players huddle in Fiji. Photo: Oceania Rugby

In Fiji, teaching life skills and changing mindsets through rugby

Participants in The One Win Leads to Another programme helps girls learn sports fundamentals and encourages them to speak their minds. Photo: Fundação Angélica Goulart

Sport paves the way for skills and jobs for young mothers in Brazil

Marta Vieira da Silva holds a soccer ball with the global goals on it, at UN Women headquarters in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

In the words of Marta Vieira da Silva: “Believe in yourself and trust yourself”


Bhagwati Bhattarai-Baral holds the winning trophy. Photo: CAB Nepal

From where I stand: “We won the First International Women’s Blind Cricket Series”

The Cairo SheWolves is one of the first all-women American football teams in Egypt. Photo: Courtesy of the Cairo Wolves.

Challenging gender stereotypes through sport in Egypt

A participant in the HeForShe Flash Tournament. Photo: UN Women

In Mexico, female soccer players take centre stage to break gender stereotypes


Why sport to empower women and girls?
We celebrate women athletes around the world as champions of gender equality and as role models for the next generation of girls and women.

Football helps integrate Syrian refugees in Jordan
Soccer camps in Jordan are helping ease tensions between local communities and thousands of newly-arrived Syrian refugees.

Social Media

Use #WomenInSport and #FIFAWWC during the FIFA Women’s World Cup to show your support for women athletes who defy stereotypes and make inspiring role models, yet still face gender discrimination. Time to raise your voice and cheer for gender equality!

You can find a social media package with cool visuals here.

Empower women today.

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