Women Empowerment
Promoting Women Empowerment Through Football

Global United FC and Friedrich Naumann Foundation are Hosting #Freedom2Play Summit 2021
Women in Soccer
Many blue, yellow plastic chairs and a lone african girl with headphones on stadium © Shutterstock

The event will broadcast digitally on 15 October 2021 from Windhoek, Namibia

An increasing number of female African football players make their way into the European professional leagues. They have become role models for girls and young women all over Africa who want to live a self-determined and emancipated life. To discuss the empowerment opportunities for young girls and women in Africa through sports, the Global United FC together with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom host the #Freedom2Play summit 2021 with African and European professional football players. The event will broadcast digitally on 15 October 2021.

Footballers such as Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala or South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana play for renowned European clubs such as FC Barcelona or AC Milan. They are the forerunners of a young generation of female African players with the potential to become superstars of women's football. Yet too often, woman’s active participation in sports programmes falters due to fundamental obstacles such as poor infrastructure and restrictive role models. How can football promote the institutional advancement of young girls and women in Sub-Saharan Africa? What hindrances need to be overcome? How can European and African development programmes cooperate more efficiently?

“Sport has a vital role to play in promoting women's rights. It offers women and girls vastly underestimated opportunities to assert themselves as independent individuals in patriarchal societies. This requires low-threshold access to sports – with more trained female coaches, an improved infrastructure and enhanced club structures. Numerous organisations are promoting women's football in Africa, but development is still proceeding slowly. We need to spark new impulses for the professionalisation of African football”, said FIFA Technical Committee member and #Freedom2Play expert Fran Hilton-Smith.

Link: #Freedom2Play

Date: 15 October 2021 at 2:30 pm (MESZ)


  • Lolo Goraseb: Namibian football legend and Global United FC ambassador
  • Inka Grings: two-time European Champion and first woman to coach a men's team in Germany's top four football leagues
  • George Dearnaley: former Bafana Bafana striker and media expert
  • Salome Liyambo: former player for Brave Gladiator and instructor at the Confederation of African Football (CAF)
  • Fran Hilton-Smith: former SAFA women’s football director; FIFA Technical Committee member and instructor
  • Kaylin Swart: South Africa women’s national football team goalkeeper and squad member at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
  • Jacqueline Gertze: Member of the Board of the Namibian Football Association (NFA) and project coordinator at Galz&Goals – an UNICEF & NFA program
  • Diina Shituula: Member of the Board of NFA Women’s football league and project coordinator for NFA’s girls grassroots courses
  • Leonie Pankratz: professional footballer with experience in woman’s leagues in Germany, Spain, France, Iceland, Portugal and Finland

Press contact:

Rainer Hahn
CEO / Global United Football FC

Global United FC

Zeppelinring 26
84034 Landshut

Phone: +49 173 3489521