SAFC back International Women's Day

by Kate Smith

Club joining forces with Oxfam initiative.

Sunderland AFC are celebrating International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March 2013 and helping international organisation Oxfam support women around the world.

The club is one of many across the UK joining the Oxfam Get Together, a campaign to raise awareness of and life saving funds for Oxfam’s women’s projects around the world during the week of International Women’s Day, which falls on 8 March. 

I hope all football fans can join together to support Oxfam Get Together and its aim of making the world a fairer and more equal place for everyone.

- Margaret Byrne

Sunderland AFC has joined other clubs around the country to celebrate International Women’s Day with Oxfam. Clubs are encouraging their fans to join the Oxfam Get Together campaign and organise events and fundraisers for Oxfam women’s projects around the world.

The campaign is supported by SAFC’s Chief Executive Margaret Byrne and England’s most high profile female midfielder, Rachel Yankey.

Margaret Byrne, CEO, Sunderland AFC said: “Oxfam Get Together is a fantastic campaign that is making a real and tangible difference to the lives of women around the world. Through raising awareness it gives everyone an opportunity to consider the important issue of equality and the ongoing campaign to eradicate poverty, enhancing the lives of women throughout world.

“I hope all football fans can join together to support Oxfam Get Together and its aim of making the world a fairer and more equal place for everyone.”

Since making her debut in 1997, Yankey has appeared on 120 occasions for England; she is the most capped outfield player ever to play for England, with only legendary goalkeeper Peter Shilton gaining more with 125 capped appearances.

33-year-old Rachel, who plays for Arsenal, is proud to be an Oxfam Get Together Champion and to use the power of football to speak out for women and encourage as many people as possible to join the campaign.

She said: “As a player, I am fortunate to have travelled to many countries around Europe and the world, and have seen for myself how powerfully football can bring people together.  International Women's Day is a great opportunity to come together to celebrate and promote women’s rights and, at the same time, highlight the difficulties that many are still facing in their daily lives, both in the UK and overseas”.

More women than ever before are attending football matches; women’s football is increasingly more high profile and women are finally getting into the top executive positions within boardrooms at clubs. But more can and needs to be done to ensure that men and women are equal- and not only on the pitch.

Over 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty are women.  Globally women tend to have fewer resources, less access to education and subsequently fewer opportunities to make life-shaping decisions than men.

David Hewitt, Oxfam community fundraiser, says: “The work of Oxfam is usually associated with responding to natural disasters and emergencies. But when emergencies strike, it is women who are often the most badly affected. This is why Oxfam is now focusing its efforts on working with women around the world in the fight against poverty”. 

Oxfam’s projects with women range from the support offered at a drop-in centre in Glasgow to providing female farmers with business skills training in Ethiopia. All funds raised through the Get Together for International Women’s Day initiative will make a real and lasting difference.

  • Every minute a woman with no medical care dies in pregnancy or childbirth, but £31 raised could enable Oxfam to train a midwife in Ghana, saving the lives of babies and their mothers.
  • Two-thirds of all children denied school are girls, but £135 could train five teachers in Mali, providing a whole generation of children with the skills they need to work their way out of poverty.