The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup, the world championship for women's national association football teams. It took place in Guangdong, China from 16 November to 30 November 1991. FIFA, football's international governing body selected China as host nation as Guangdong had hosted a prototype world championship three years earlier, the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament. Matches were played in the state capital, Guangzhou, as well as in Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan. The competition was sponsored by Mars, Incorporated. With FIFA still reluctant to bestow their "World Cup" brand, the tournament was officially known as the 1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup.
It was won by the United States, whose captain April Heinrichs formed a forward line dubbed the "triple–edged sword" with Carin Jennings and Michelle Akers-Stahl. Jennings was named player of the tournament while Akers-Stahl's ten goals won the Golden Shoe. The United States beat Norway 2–1 in the final in front of a crowd of 65,000 people at Guangzhou's Tianhe Stadium. Total attendance was 510,000, an average per match of 19,615. In the opening match at the same stadium, Norway had been defeated 4–0 by hosts China. Chinese defender Ma Li scored the first goal in Women's World Cup history, while goalkeeper Zhong Honglian, also of China, posted the first official "clean sheet" in the tournament.
The 12 qualified teams were divided into three groups of four (A to C). The top two teams and the two best third-place finishers from the three groups advanced to the knockout round of eight teams.
Twelve teams qualified for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup final tournament. Each of the six FIFA confederations had at least one representative.
For a list of the squads that disputed the final tournament, see 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup squads.
For the first time in FIFA competition, six female officials were included. All functioned as assistant referees, except for Cláudia Vasconcelos who took charge of the third place play–off; becoming the first woman to referee a match sanctioned by FIFA.