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Women’s national team players from across South America will participate in a two-day forum starting tomorrow (Friday) as they seek equitable treatment to their male counterparts.

At the FIFPro-backed forum, players from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela will meet in Santiago de Chile to discuss collaboration on a range of important issues.

Women footballers are marginalized across South America. Argentina’s national team, for example, went on strike last year after receiving less than $10 a day while on international duty, paying for their own boots and enduring 18-hour bus rides to games.

FIFPro board member Camila Garcia is among the organizers of the first edition of the forum. Garcia was one of the founders of a new Chilean women’s player association in 2016 at a time when the national federation had not organized a match for the women’s national team for two years.

The new association influenced Chilean authorities to host the women’s Copa America in April – watched by a huge TV audience, Chile finished as runner-up to Brazil and qualified for the 2019 women’s World Cup. nosotras jugamos 325

This week’s meeting in Santiago de Chile is an opportunity for players across the continent to collaborate and build women’s football together in the region, with the support of player associations, Garcia said.

“We will discuss paths to professionalize women’s football and improve the working conditions of female players so that opportunities for sustainable career paths open up,” Garcia said.

“There is enormous untapped potential for women’s football to grow in South America. We intend to work together with leading players from around the continent to unlock this potential.”

The United Nations, anti-discrimination group Fare and the University of Chile are also supporting the forum.

Only in a few countries in the world such as Norway and New Zealand do women’s national teams receive equitable treatment on pay and conditions from their national associations.

The following national-team players scheduled to attend:

Brazil: Thais Picarte, Aline Pellegrino*
Chile: Fernanda Pinilla, Bárbara Muñoz*, Francisca Moroso*
Colombia: Catalina Usme, Orianica Velásquez
Uruguay: Ximena Velazco, Valeria Colmán
Venezuela: Maykerlín Astudillo

*Denotes former national-team player.

Picture above: Fernanda Pinilla trains with the Chile national team Below: Goalkeeper Thais Picarte in action for Brazil.