The Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Jennifer Poole opened the Gokals, Ariston, Whirlpool 2021 Southern Business House Futsal Soccer League last night with a kick off. 

PS Poole discussed the importance of sports programmes, particularly at the grassroots level and in marginalised, impoverished communities as a successful tool in promoting health and nutrition, and reducing restrictions on mobility and social isolation that many women and girls experience. 

“Through sport, women and girls can find safe places to gather, build new interpersonal networks, develop a sense of identity and achievement and pursue new opportunities”. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2015, and its Gender Equality Compact, especially SDG 5 — goal 5 — has inspired greater gender equality in every arena including sports.

The Fijian Government tries to inspire all to take comprehensive actions to promote gender equality and end all forms of violence against women and girls in all settings. She told the players and officials that access to sport also empowers women economically.” Its employment opportunities to women in a wide range of areas, including as coaches, managers, physical education teachers, and journalists.

Sport can propel progress for women and it offers many benefits to women and girls. 

Therefore, we must all champion new, progressive, gender equal norms in sports.

Change will also depend on those in leadership in sport, our iconic football and soccer players, women and men, who are role models and their dedication to actions such as ending gaps in pay or equal access to sports facilities, financial and other resources, training and professional development is critical to bring about change”.

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