International Women's Day's #EachForEqual movement calls for individuals to challenge stereotypes, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. #EachForEqual has inspired our position for 2020.
This year, we are celebrating the role women’s sport has played in the wider journey to reaching gender equality.
Throughout history, female pioneers have been breaking down barriers and smashing through glass ceilings. When it came to women’s sport, from the centre of the oval, the goal seemed so far away.
But in 1956, ‘Golden Girl’ Betty Cuthbert proved to the world that an 18-yr-old girl from the western suburbs could win gold at the Melbourne Olympics.
In 1980, Evonne Goolagong Cawley proved that motherhood was no barrier to greatness, becoming the first mother to win Wimbledon in over 60 years. Cathy Freeman left an unforgettable mark in history when she became the first Indigenous Australian to win an individual Olympic gold medal in 2000.
Michelle Payne made history in 2016 as the first ever female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.
And then, in 2017, the game for women changed again.
We welcomed the NAB AFL Women’s Competition, which has given more than 400 women the opportunity to pull on their footy boots as professional football players.
Fast-forward three years, the impact of the AFLW is undeniable.
Female participation has grown by 31 per cent in 2019 alone. By its sheer volume - the AFLW competition has normalised the role of women playing a ‘man's’ game.
The number of AFLW clubs has almost doubled. Local and regional women's footy teams have tripled. And now, worldwide, almost one in three footy players are female.
The movement of women playing football has been propelled forward by AFLW players.
Before they were running onto a footy oval, they might have excelled on courts, pitches and tracks all around the world. Many of our star AFLW players have excelled across disciplines, playing for our national soccer team, winning praise on the cricket pitch or even representing our country at the Olympics.
They, just like the women before them, have used sport as a platform to break down gender barriers, sparking unity and inclusion amongst communities.
This year, we support International Women’s Day’s #EachForEqual campaign by celebrating our female representatives and their contribution to the role sport has played in creating for an equal playing field for all women.
In 2020 we stand united.
Each for Equal. All for Sport.”