CFU Member Associations build capacity during Spotlight Initiative workshop and commit to regional collaboration
Published on 01 October 2023
MIAMI, Florida (October 1, 2023)—Representatives of women’s football committees across the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), on October 1, completed a two-day, capacity-building workshop in Miami, Florida, with commitments to implementing advocacy activities in the respective member associations and to working on a joint strategy.
The workshop was the third of five planned activities of the CFU’s project under the Spotlight Initiative. The Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls is a United Nations initiative in partnership with the European Union and other partners.
The CFU project titled Ensuring that the Pitch is a Safe Place examines the barriers to women and girls’ participation in football. The overarching objective of the project is to strengthen organizational capacity that will empower the participants to become change agents for equity for women and girls in football, to ensure that the beautiful game is beautiful for all.
Over the course of two webinars and the two-day workshop, the participants sharpened their skills in advocacy and creating advocacy and communications strategies. They also presented their draft strategies and received guidance to finetune them.
The participants also committed to a joint communication, sensitization and visibility strategy surrounding women in football, with the objective of deconstructing harmful gender norms and perceptions.
Representative of the UN Women Multi Country Caribbean Office Caribbean Tonni Ann Brodber, Program Specialist UN Women Latin America and the Caribbean Jennifer Cooper, and Planning and Coordination Specialist UN Women Multi Country Office Caribbean Akilah Dorris addressed the participants, each underscoring the importance of the member associations aligning their actions with their good intentions.
“Sport has an enormous capacity to propel gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment. It is the source of confidence for so many women and girls where they find, not only their understanding of themselves, but the understanding of their potential,” Brodber said in her remarks during the opening.
“Football has the power to change lives. It changes the lives of many women and girls across the world, and in the process, it also can address various cultural and social challenges,” Brodber added.
Cooper, meanwhile, during a session titled Why Representation Matters, underscored the benefits of a regional focus in addition to the individual projects, and she challenged the participants to go beyond implementing activities to identify and trigger the levers for change.
CFU President Randolph Harris, during his opening remarks, reiterated his and his executive committee’s support for the initiative, saying, “The opportunity to examine both the individual and regional landscape for women in football, with a view to ensuring, not just participation and inclusion, but safety, is priceless.” He thanked UN Women for what he called a timely partnership.
Eighteen Member Associations were represented at the workshop. They are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.
The lead facilitator was consultant Dr. Carel Hodge. The co-facilitator was Mickel Brann-Challenger.