Sat | Mar 28, 2020

More women needed in football – Walker-Brown - St Catherine FA boss welcomes FIFA directive for greater female inclusion

Published:Tuesday | March 24, 2020 | 12:29 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Walker-Brown
Walker-Brown

Chairperson of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) women’s committee, Elaine Walker-Brown, fully endorses the move by FIFA to get more women involved in the decision-making process of national football bodies.

On March 9-10, FIFA Senior Governance Manager, Sarah Solemale, met with members of the JFF on matters regarding the organisation’s statutes, and among the recommendations was an insistence on greater gender inclusion on the board and it being clearly stated in the revised statutes.

Walker-Brown, who is also the president of the St Catherine Football Association, believes there are enough women with the experience, expertise and passion for the sport to sit in any capacity. Nevertheless, she believes that only the most competent people should be given the responsibility to serve.

“It’s a good move and not in the sense of just for getting women on the board for the sake of it. It’s a fact that we (women) are equipped, a lot of us have the knowledge, know-how and the passion and we are able to govern. So it’s only fair that we (women) are given the chance, equally as the men, as we know we can do it.

“We are equipped, we have learnt, we have been exposed and we have the know-how. So we are equal, we can play as well (as men), we can administrate as well and we can govern as well. So we want more women on the board and having at least two women elected to the board is very good,” she said.

PERMANENT CHANGE

FIFA is also demanding more female presence in the areas of finance, legal, commercial and marketing and Walker-Brown thinks this will forever change the way we operate as football associations.

“So you don’t just vote to put your friends there, you put people who have the knowledge and skill sets to move the sport forward. For example, there are not a lot of women out there that are for women’s football, so you have to be very careful. You have to make sure it is the right persons, because you will get two women and they are not for women’s football. So it is not just women coming on the board, but women who are interested in playing their part whatever gender. It is about moving football at all levels,” Walker-Brown said.

She also expects the federation to move speedily in implementing these recommendations before the December 2020 deadline.

“This (process) is not for the (2023 JFF) elections, everybody in office (now) have four years, but all of this must be in place by December. I expect there will be a little delay because she (Solemale) was going to send her draft (to the JFF) by the end of May/June. Then JFF would respond by the end of June, then we would have some town hall meetings, so everyone could be more educated of the changes coming to the JFF,” Walker-Brown shared.