Mainstreaming of sport as a tool for girls’ and women’s empowerment
The International Olympic Committee and UN Women renew partnership on sport for gender equality.
After five years of successful collaboration on women and sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UN Women have renewed their commitment through a second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU lays out the vision for the next five years of partnership, which will empower women and girls through sport and increase women’s leadership and gender equality.
“Working together with UN Women, the IOC wants to empower women in sport and through sport. With this MoU, we will build on our efforts already underway to promote access to sport for girls and work towards gender equality. This is another step to extending this great partnership,” stated IOC President Thomas Bach.
With this MoU, we will build on our efforts already underway to promote access to sport for girls and work towards gender equality. This is another step to extending this great partnership.Thomas Bach IOC President
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises sport as an important enabler of sustainable development, and in particular its growing and innovative contribution to the empowerment of women and young people, individuals and communities, as well as health, education and social inclusion objectives. UN Women and the IOC share the same objectives of advancing gender equality in and through sport, in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 5; and of empowering women and girls through the necessary skills and capacities to be agents of change in their communities and societies.
“Sport is an invaluable tool to equip women and girls with leadership skills, reduce marginalisation and dismantle stereotypes, and I am excited to continue our strong relationship with the IOC,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Together we can bring substantive equality – a Planet 50-50 – to the world of sport at all levels,” she added.
The next phase of cooperation will contribute to the mainstreaming of sport and physical activity as a tool for girls’ and women’s empowerment, education and health. It will also facilitate women’s equal access and participation, resource allocation, and leadership with regard to public policies around sport and the international development agenda more generally. With the cooperation, the IOC and UN Women aim to encourage women and girls at grassroots level through sustainable sports programmes, targeting in particular girls in vulnerable communities; and leverage the power of sport, including large-scale sporting events and athletes as role models, to change harmful gender-based stereotypes and norms.
The IOC and UN Women, together with Women Win, have been implementing “One Win Leads to Another”, an innovative joint programme to empower young women and girls through sport, as an Olympic legacy project of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The programme builds the leadership skills of adolescent girls through quality sports training; creates safe spaces for girls; and gives them tools and knowledge to break down social barriers and access services if experiencing violence. It also equips the participants with basic economic skills. The programme has been piloted in disadvantaged areas of Rio de Janeiro, and will continue under this partnership framework in Brazil and potentially in additional countries.