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17 Feb 2012
Women in Sport , IOC News , Olympism in action

5th World Conference on Women and Sport kicks off in Los Angeles

The 5th World Conference on Women and Sport got under way this week with over 700 delegates from around the world gathering in Los Angeles, California. Discussions begin today with plenary and dialogue sessions associated with the efforts to strengthen women’s representation both on the sports field and in leadership positions.

Commitment to Gender Equality

In his keynote address, IOC President Jacques Rogge said: “The IOC and the Olympic Movement are committed to gender equality in sport. Our progress toward that goal is most obvious in the field of play. Participation by women at the Olympic Games has increased steadily in recent years. More than 42 percent of the competitors at the 2008 Games were women. I am confident that figure will be higher at the upcoming London Games, where for the first time, women will compete in every sport on the Olympic Programme.”

Challenges for the Future

“Our challenge is to match those solid gains with progress outside the competition venues,” IOC President Rogge added.  “We need more women leaders throughout the Olympic Movement, not only to prove our commitment to gender equality, but to take advantage of their brains, their energy and their creativity.”

IOC Women and Sport Commission Chairperson Anita DeFrantz concurred: “We are all here for the same reason:  to find ways to ensure that the voices of women are heard in the decision making bodies of sport.”

IOC Women and Sport Awards

The winners of the six 2012 IOC Women and Sport Awards (one world and five continental) were announced at the opening of the conference.

The trophies were presented as follows:
- IOC World Trophy: Manisha Malhotra (India)
- IOC Trophy for Africa: Peninnah Aligawesa Kabenge (Uganda)
- IOC Trophy for the Americas: The Bradesco Sports and Education Programme and Centre (Brazil)
- IOC Trophy for Asia: Zaiton Othman (Malaysia)
- IOC Trophy for Europe: Aikaterini Nafplioti-Panagopoulos (Greece)
- IOC Trophy for Oceania:  Roseline Blake (Cook Islands)

The winners of the 2012 Women and Sport Awards have been recognised for their roles in getting more women involved in sport as athletes, administrators, leaders and as members of the media. Click here to learn more about their profiles and achievements.

First introduced in 2000, the IOC Women and Sport trophies are awarded each year to recognise and celebrate the efforts made by an individual or an organisation for outstanding achievements to encourage gender equity at all levels in the sporting world.

Background information

Organised jointly by the IOC, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, the theme of the three-day World Conference on Women and Sport is “Together Stronger: the Future of Sport” and features high-level speakers from a variety of backgrounds. Among them are Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Sebastian Coe; H.E. Marjon V. Kamara, Chair of the UN’s Commission on Status of Women; and Geena Davis, Academy award winning actress and founder of the Geena Davis Institute in Gender in the media.

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