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IOC and UN Women launch gender equality project

March 23 2023 - News Release News Editorial

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UN Women recently launched the Gender Equality Through Sport Bridging Project in New York.

IOC and UN Women launch gender equality project

This joint initiative will use sport as a tool to advance gender equality and prevent gender-based violence. 

The project was launched during a recent event co-hosted by the IOC on the sidelines of the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which took place earlier in March at the UN headquarters. 

Lydia Nsekera, IOC Member and Chair of the Gender Equality and Diversity Commission, said: “The project aims to support sport and community development organisations, as well as policymakers, across three continents, to address the important issues of gender equality and gender-based violence through sport-based programmes.”

The new project builds on the IOC’s longstanding partnership with UN Women, which has also produced the One Win Leads to Another (OWLA) programme. This flagship programme uses sport as a tool to prevent violence against girls and women in Brazil and Argentina. It was established as a legacy programme from the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and was replicated in Argentina as a legacy of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. 

"The future needs a meaningful intergenerational engagement with all races, genders, and people of different abilities." Sarah Hendrick, UN Women Director of Policy, Programme and Intergovernmental Division

As part of the new project, the IOC and UN Women will launch a year-long transfer-of-knowledge programme. This will ensure the exchange of information and insights from the OWLA in Latin America with South East Asia and the Pacific.

The project will be guided by the IOC’s Olmypism365 strategy, which has been designed to strengthen the role of sport as an enabler for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The event also enabled those working within the sports movement to sign up to the Sports for Generation Equality Framework. This was launched by UN Women and the IOC in 2020.

Sarah Hendrick, UN Women Director of Policy, Programme and Intergovernmental Division, said: “The future needs a meaningful intergenerational engagement with all races, genders, and people of different abilities, so that everywhere in the world, a 10-year-old girl in 2023 will be a thriving young woman in 2030.

“For millions of girls around the world, they can benefit enormously from sport – and become the generation that knows no divisions or gender-based discrimination. But they need support. I see no other field as powerful as sport to influence the next generation.”

The IOC continuously takes action to advance gender equality and this can be seen through its Gender Equality and Inclusion Objectives for 2021-24. This supports the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020+5, and these objectives span through the IOC’s status as an organisation, the owner of the Olympic Games and as the leader of the Olympic Movement. The five focus areas include participation, leadership, safe sport, portrayal and resource allocation.

Image: the blowup on Unsplash

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