Since 1995, every four years at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, FIFA has organised a symposium on women’s football to create a networking opportunity, share case studies, discuss the status of women’s football worldwide and give advice and direction to the 209 member associations.

The 6th FIFA Women’s Football Symposium was held on 3-5 July 2015 in Vancouver, Canada, and brought together around 600 representatives of the associations to discuss the future of the women’s game and what is needed to take it to the next level.

It was the first symposium to be held since the establishment of the Task Force for Women’s Football, which was announced by FIFA President Blatter in October 2013 with the aim of establishing priorities for the development of women’s football. The task force identified ten key principles, which were then unanimously approved by the 64th FIFA Congress in June 2014. The ten principles are helping to ensure that each member association mirrors FIFA’s approach when it comes to women’s football development.

The symposium in Vancouver was an opportunity for FIFA and its members to look at how these 10 key principles are being implemented, while also addressing the work that needs to be done going forward.

There was a strong focus on governance – in particular on how to fully integrate women’s football into the member associations’ strategies and structures. FIFA used the opportunity to call up the whole football community to unite and support girls and women, and the pathways available to them – both on and off the field. The need for developing female leaders and giving opportunities to women in leadership positions in football was also addressed as a crucial element of good governance.

To achieve the set objectives, there is a need for further investment. As such, the symposium participants looked at the business side of the game, including opportunities and considerations when it comes to marketing and promotion.

Additionally, the symposium provided a forum to assess matters related to competitions and development, and explored how these two areas can be more closely linked and incorporated into an overall strategy to ensure success and to realise the global potential for women’s football.