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Thomas BACH and Phumzile MLAMBO-NGCUKA

Partnerships are paramount for the spread of positive social change and gender empowerment. The IOC policy for women’s empowerment through sport has been developed and implemented through numerous partnerships with sports organisations, UN agencies and programmes, NGOs and other members of civil society.


The seminars and workshops have proved to be an effective tool to tackle the underrepresentation of women in governance, mainly through skill-building courses. The IOC co-organises women in sport seminars and workshops in partnership with continental associations, NOCs and IFs. These seminars encourage organisations across the Olympic Movement to increase efforts to improve gender equality in sport.

Read more about education and training for women.
Read more about the IF Women in leadership Forum

Partnership with the United Nations

Since gaining UN Observer status in 2009, the IOC has expanded and strengthened its partnerships with UN agencies and programmes.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in 2012 between UN Women and the IOC, and renewed in 2017 in order for the two organisations to use sport to promote gender equality and empower women and girls within their respective mandates and rules in line with the development goals. The UN Women Executive Director has been invited to sit on the IOC Women in Sport Commission to underline this partnership.

As a result, a number of joint initiatives and actions have taken place, including side-events in conjunction with the Commission on the Status of Women to promote sport as a tool to foster gender equality and empower women and girls.

Also, in the lead up to the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and as part of the Olympic legacies projects, the IOC and UN Women initiated a project that uses a series of sports programmes in schools to empower young girls and promote a positive message of non-discrimination and non-violence.

Read the IOC press release about IOC-UN partnership in Rio
Read the UN Women press release about IOC-UN women partnership in Rio
HeForShe campaign
Commission on the Status of Women

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