Johannesburg - CAF President Patrice Motsepe says women are playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of African football and the socio-economic development and growth of the African Continent.
This was part of his remarks to mark International Women's Day, on Tuesday, 8 March.
While there is a lot of work that still needs to be done in developing women’s football in Africa and internationally, Motsepe once again reaffirmed his commitment to creating more opportunities for women to participate and lead on and off the field of play.
This year’s theme: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” has been a fundamental commitment of CAF under Motsepe’s leadership.
Motsepe said: “Today, we pay our respect and express our admiration to the women in Africa and worldwide. They instil values of compassion and inspire us with their commitment and contributions to the upliftment of our communities, countries and the African Continent.
“I am also proud of the African women players who are succeeding in Africa and globally and are recognised as being amongst the best football players in the world. We have stars like Asisat Oshoala, Thembi Kgatlana, Ajara Njoya, Sarah Essam, Cidalia Cuta and others who are pioneering the way. I am confident that based on the talent that we have in African women’s football, an African nation will win the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the not-too-distant future.”
Under the new leadership of Motsepe, significant progress has been made in the participation and leadership of women in African football.
The election of Ibrahim Kanizat, as the first female Vice President in CAF’s history. She is also the President of the CAF Women’s Football Organizing Committee.
The appointment of Salima Rhadia Mukansanga, as the first women referee to officiate a match at the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, together with Fatiha Jermoumi, Bouchkra Karboubi and Carina Atemzabong.
The successful inaugural Women’s Champions League was staged in Egypt last year in November.
Isha Johansen, the CAF representative at the FIFA Council and Deputy President of the CAF Women’s Football Organizing Committee, said: “We all know that women have been left behind. However, the new CAF leadership is committed to creating opportunities for women to play important leadership, and other roles.”
There are also initiatives underway at CAF to recruit women and ensure that they occupy important leadership roles in the secretariate.