As the world’s best soccer teams face off in Germany for the Women’s World Cup, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is using the event to spotlight the need to empower women to play leading roles in daily life, from the home to the school to the workplace.
UNDP has begun a public awareness campaign about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) based around the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which started yesterday and runs until 17 July in nine cities across Germany.
The campaign – based on advertisements and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook – aims to raise support for efforts to attain the MDGs, the globally agreed social and economic targets with a 2015 deadline, particularly those goals relating to women.
Women continue to earn less than men when they do the same work, have unequal access to land and inheritance rights in some countries, and are under-represented in legislatures around the world, UNDP noted.
One of the agency’s Goodwill Ambassadors is the Brazilian soccer star Marta Vieira da Silva, known to fans as Marta, and she is participating in the Women’s World Cup both on the field for her country and off the field for UNDP.
“The strength, industry and wisdom of women remain humanity’s greatest untapped resource,” Marta says in an advertisement issued to coincide with the tournament. “Only through women’s full and equal participation in public and private life can we hope to break poverty cycles and achieve the MDGs.”
Marta, the winner of FIFA’s Women’s World Player award for the past five consecutive years, was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador last year to promote the MDGs with a special focus on the gender dimension of poverty.