Svenska institutet

Swedish soccer star Nilla Fischer takes a stand for gender equality in soccer in a new video

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Many girls around the world dream of having a soccer career, only to end up finding themselves sidelined by the boys. On the official Sweden YouTube channel, Nilla Fischer shares her experiences of gender injustices in soccer.

The interest in women’s soccer is huge. In Sweden alone there are around 100 000 licensed female players over the age of fifteen. In spite of that, the differences between women’s and men’s soccer are significant – and they emerge early on.

Examples range from practical matters, such as girls’ teams getting inconvenient training times and locations, to financial matters, of which prize money in the major games is but one example. Success for female teams rarely gets the same amount of attention as men’s, and the economic gap between them has increased.

When Nilla Fischer – national soccer team star and champions league winner –was awarded the 2018 “Diamantbollen”, the most prominent award at the Swedish Sports Gala, she decided to raise her voice and address the injustices for girls playing soccer. In the new video for Stories from Sweden she talks about her own feminist awakening and the importance of gender equality in the future of soccer.

“We practice the same sport – why don’t we have the same possibilities?” she asks rhetorically. “We need to take action and show the world that we don’t make a difference between boys and girls who want to play soccer. All sports need to be inclusive.”

Stories from Sweden is a documentary film concept that aims to spark curiosity about Sweden. The films tell the unique stories of various individuals and are aimed at a young international audience with an interest in subjects where Sweden plays a leading role, such as sustainability, innovation and social issues like integration and equal opportunities.

“We are delighted that Nilla wants to be part of our YouTube concept and share her thoughts on gender equality”, says Sara Djupsund, project manager at the Swedish Institute. “With this film we have the opportunity to draw attention to an important issue, but also to celebrate our fantastic soccer team as they take part in the world cup, playing their first game on Tuesday June 11th .”

See the movie Taking a stand for women’s soccer – Stories from Sweden here.

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