Ex-Matilda Moya Dodd and Catherine Ordway on FIFA Gender Equality and Women’s World Cup


With all eyes on the Matildas as they take on England in the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup this Wednesday (16 August), a new book offering a critical examination on gender equality and the 2023 WWC is out now.


The book, 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Politics, Representation and Management, includes a chapter co-authored by WOB member and leading sports lawyer and academic, Associate Professor Catherine Ordway and lawyer and former Matilda, Moya Dodd.

Catherine, Sport Integrity Research Lead and Associate Professor at University of Canberra, specialises in anti-corruption and integrity and is a tribunal member, media commentator and consultant. Catherine, together with Ruth Medd, established the original foundation for Women on Boards in 2001.

Co-author Moya Dodd, former member of Australia's women's national football team, was one of the first women on FIFA's Executive Committee and became “the driving force in the recent push for women within FIFA”. 

This book offers a critical examination of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, being held in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Drawing on perspectives from sociology, history, political science, and management, it sheds new light on the development of women’s soccer and on women’s sport more broadly.

In their chapter in the book, Contextualising and chronicling the gender equality provisions in FIFA's 2016 governance reforms, Catherine and Moya capture the journey in reforming the FIFA Statutes in 2016.

Moya draws upon her first-hand experiences directing these reforms as chair of FIFA's Women's Football Taskforce, which drafted FIFA's Women's Football: 10 Key Development Principles.

This chapter contextualises the FIFAGate crisis, introduces the Women's Football Taskforce proposals reflected in the 2016 FIFA Reform Report, and explains FIFA's passage of its gender equality statutory amendments. In so doing, the authors explain the process by which progress towards gender equality was, and can be, advanced within FIFA.

“There is already a tremendous amount of research and scholarship emerging in and around the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup from an impressive array of scholars around the world. We hope the book will provide them with a starting point and perspective on a number of the key aspects related to the event,” said Catherine.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to the book chapter, AND the original journey.  You are an inspiration to others! Enjoy the rest of the Women’s World Cup (and go the Tillies!!!).”

This book also examines the politics of the build-up to the tournament, including the bidding process, as well as how the tournament has been represented in the media, the governance structures of the tournament itself, and policy proposals designed to leave an enduring legacy for women and girls in sport. 

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is the first Women’s World Cup to be held in the Southern Hemisphere and the first to be held with an expanded 32-team format. This book shows why the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup represents a unique opportunity to enhance our understanding of women’s football, gender-oriented sport development initiatives and strategies, national sport policy and programming, and the management of international sporting events.

This book is fascinating reading for any student, researcher, or practitioner with an interest in sport development, sport management, sport policy, sport sociology, event management, gender studies, political science, or the relationship between sport and wider society.


The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Politics, Representation and Management book is now available from Routledge.  


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