Gender equality achieved through crisis: Football Federation of Australia (now FA)

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This paper examines the governance reform process undertaken to achieve gender equality in Australian football (soccer). As interdisciplinary, professional practice research, this case study analyses the mechanics of influencing board composition, related policy and legal controls. It was not until the international federation for football (FIFA) threatened to withdraw its recognition of its member federation, Football Federation of Australia (now Football Australia), that gender equality measures were adopted. This governance crisis threat led to the Congress Review Working Group being established. The Working Group recommendations led to significant structural change including mandated gender equality measures. It remains to be seen if constitutional amendments, including the 40:40:20 strategy (40% women, 40% men and 20% of any gender), can translate into meaningful and lasting transformation. It is intended that this case study will be a roadmap for other sports to follow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-307
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Mar 2023


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