Football Unites the World

During the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, FIFA used its Football Unites the World platform to raise awareness for several important social issues.

Following consultation with member associations, teams and players, several social impact causes were identified, including gender equality, ending hunger and inclusion. These were visible on the captains' armbands, pitch-side digital LED boards, large flags presented on the pitch, giant screens in the stadiums and social media.

Participating teams and players showed their support and helped to raise awareness to nearly 2 million fans attending matches and record breaking TV audiences.

Read on to find out what happened.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  FIFA President Gianni Infantino poses during The Best FIFA Football Awards at The May Fair Hotel on October 23, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Football unites the world and our global events, such as the FIFA Women's World Cup, have a unique power to bring people together. But football does even more than that – it can shine the spotlight on very important causes in our society.

Gianni Infantino, FIFA President

Unite for Inclusion

Football Unites the World

Unite for Inclusion

Football is for everyone, and Unite for Inclusion was the steadfast declaration of FIFA’s determination to ensure everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to get involved with the sport, without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

Promoted during the first group-stage matches, Unite for Inclusion marked this year’s 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and symbolised how the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ was the most inclusive ever.

Football Unites the World
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: Aya Miyama is seen after presenting the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia on August 20, 2023 in Sydney / Gadigal, Australia. (Photo by Elsa - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

If you are involved in football one way or another, whether you’re a player or a supporter, it’s important to be aware that each and every one of us represents football so we need to respect and accept one another.

Aya Miyama, Former Japan midfielder

Unite for Indigenous Peoples

FIFA recognises the importance of preserving the rights and lands of the First Nations and Indigenous Peoples around the world and is proud to have used football to highlight this during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.

Unite for Indigenous Peoples was celebrated during the second group-stage matches, while FIFA and UN Human Rights (OHCHR) welcomed a panel of experts to discuss the threats to First Nations communities on the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (9 August).

There are many parallels between human rights and sports, and notably football – at best, a focus on empowerment, fairness and a celebration of the values of having an identity yet being united in diversity – all at the same time.

Heike Alefsen, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Pacific

Unite for Gender Equality

As FIFA moves toward a level playing field for women and girls involved in football, Unite for Gender Equality highlighted the positive changes to date and what remains to be achieved.

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman spoke at a number of Gender Equality symposiums during the tournament, to amplify the work FIFA is doing, while the FIFA Women’s Football Convention welcomed delegates from around the world to learn more about how to empower women and girls at all levels of football.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24: Linda Caicedo of Colombia answers questions from the media during the Colombia Press Conference on July 24, 2023 in Sydney / Gadigal, Australia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Football’s not about age or gender, I think it brings everyone together. That’s the beauty of football.

Linda Caicedo, Colombia forward

Unite for Peace

During the Round of 16 matches, FIFA joined forces with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to raise awareness around the right to seek asylum for those forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. Currently, more that 110 million people are forcibly displaced, a number that’s never been higher.

FIFA and UNHCR welcomed a group of almost 40 refugees to Melbourne Rectangular Stadium for fun-packed day including a special back-stage tour ahead of Colombia v Jamaica.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - JULY 12: FIFA President Gianni Infantino (R) and Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees during a MoU Signing Ceremony between FIFA and UNHCR on July 12, 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo courtesy of UNHCR)

We often say that football has the power to unite the world, and the work FIFA and UNHCR will assume together because of this agreement is a clear commitment to that.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino on signing the MoU with UNHCR

Unite for Education for All

With the aim to empower boys, girls and people of all ages with valuable life skills, Unite for Education for All embodies FIFA’s Football for Schools programme.

It’s where learning meets football, inspiring children to develop through fun-filled, football-themed sessions. Unite for Education for All, in support of UNESCO, was seen throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ quarter-finals.

DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 16: Sarah Essam battles for possession with Rosana Augusto during day 2 of the FIFA Legends Cup at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on December 16, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Oliver Hardt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Football taught me many things, to be disciplined, to persevere, to believe I could break down barriers.

Rosana Augusto, Coach and former player

Unite for Ending Violence Against Women

Violence against women and girls remains the most widespread and pervasive human rights violation worldwide.

According to UN Women, one in three women experiences physical or sexual violence, and the immediate and long-term physical, sexual, and mental consequences for women and girls can be devastating, even fatal.

Violence against women and girls affects us all - families, communities, and nations.

During the semi-final between Spain and Sweden, FIFA and UN Women partnered to raise awareness of the dangers to those at risk and to campaign for ending violence against women and girls.

Palu Uhatahi-Tu’amoheloa from Tonga Football Association

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is massive in terms of experience, learnings and practices. This tournament is taking a groundbreaking approach in terms of safeguarding.

Palu Uhatahi-Tu’amoheloa, Tonga Football Association

Unite for Zero Hunger

Everyone has the right to healthy food.

Using the reach of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Australia and New Zealand™, FIFA worked with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to raise awareness of the importance of adults and children having access to food.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 06: FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura speaks after a traditional welcome at Eden Park Stadium as part of a FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 host city tour on May 06, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/FIFA via Getty Images)

Food shortages and malnutrition are the harsh reality for millions of people around the world. I am very satisfied that FIFA can help bring this issue to the world’s attention.

Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General

Football is Joy, Peace, Hope, Love and Passion

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ brought us all some of the most unforgettable moments and gave people from around the world the opportunity to feel more passion, hope and love for the women’s game than ever before.

With its proven benefits for health and wellbeing, and power to encourage healthy lifestyles, football is a force worth celebrating.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 20: Hannah Wilkinson of New Zealand celebrates the team's 1-0 victory in the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group A match between New Zealand and Norway at Eden Park on July 20, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

My message to young kids wanting to grow up and do the same thing is don't ever give up. And you're going to wonder if it's worth it and trust me it is worth it. So, keep going, don't give up. The sacrifices are worth it.

Hannah Wilkinson, New Zealand forward

No Discrimination

No Discrimination, FIFA’s awareness and education campaign, was delivered in collaboration with UN Human Rights throughout the entirety of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

FIFA believes that discrimination, in all its possible forms and expressions, is one of the most common forms of human rights violations and abuse. It affects millions of people everyday stifling opportunities, harming physical and mental health, wasting human talent and accentuating social tensions and inequalities.  

Bring the Moves

Be Active #BringTheMoves was delivered throughout the entirety of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to WHO, 80% of kids are not getting enough exercise globally, and all children need to be active for a minimum of 60 minutes a day. That’s why FIFA and WHO partnered together to create Be Active #BringTheMoves.

Just 60 minutes of exercise a day can lead children to a healthier life.

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