News article

IWG Reignites its Digital Channels as the 2022-2026 Strategy is Officially Announced

August 30 2023

The International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport has today published the details of the strategy which will guide its operations while the secretariat is in the UK, until 2026.

IWG Reignites its Digital Channels as the 2022-2026 Strategy is Officially Announced

The strategy centres around the IWG’s vision of sport and physical activity contributing to a world where all women and girls thrive, with an emphasis on bringing stakeholders together to make the changes needed to the structures and values of sport around the world.

The IWG has set itself three clear strategic priorities to focus on during the secretariat period, which are:

1)      Connections – enhancing the pace and impact of change through connected and collaborative networks, namely inclusive digital community platforms and strong global strategic partnerships.

2)      Insight – delivering a research and insight led approach to gender equality driven by a curated IWG Insight Hub which will draw together and make available world-class knowledge and tools.

3)      Advocacy – demonstrating the value and impact of systemic gender equality to help influence policy and strategy. This includes collaborating with more organisations to sign the Brighton plus Helsinki 2014 declaration.

As well as delivering the strategy on a global scale, there is an additional ambition to leave a UK legacy focussed on investment, visibility and portrayal, and leadership, as a direct affect of hosting the secretariat. Progress is being made in this area, with the IWG collaborating with the Department of Business and Trade to launch the ‘Women’s Sport Investment Accelerator’ initiative.

Secretary General Lisa O’Keefe, who led on developing the strategy, said: “Since we received the fantastic news that the UK would take over from New Zealand as the hosts of the IWG, a lot of work has gone into formulating a strategy which we believe will advance gender equality in sport around the world.

“We have had a good first year in which we have seen prominent sport governing bodies such as the International Tennis Federation, the Lawn Tennis Association and the Rugby Football Union sign our declaration, and we have also welcomed new members to our team.

“I’m really pleased to be able to share this strategy today, and with it reignite our digital network which will be instrumental for us in delivering our mission.

“We have ambitious plans to make the best knowledge, practices and tools for creating gender equality available via our Insight Hub which we will launch this autumn, along with an events programme to suit the needs of our community. Our social media channels are open to anyone and everyone around the world who wants to help make progress in gender equality in sport, and joining IWG on those platforms will be the best way to access these opportunities and to connect with other people within our network.”

Notes to Editors:

About IWG Women and Sport

Founded in Brighton in 1994, the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport is the world’s largest network dedicated to advancing gender equality in sport and physical activity, with the vision of sport and physical activity contributing to a world where all women and girls thrive.

The IWG developed and remains guardian of the Brighton plus Helsinki Declaration, which has been signed by over 600 sports organisations who have committed to its principles.

The day-to-day running of the IWG rotates around the world every four years. The UK took over from New Zealand in November 2022 with support from UK Sport, Sport England and the Sport and Recreation Alliance in collaboration with Women’s Sport Trust, Women In Sport and Women’s Sport Collective. The UK will also host the 9th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport, scheduled to take place in July 2026 in Birmingham.

The IWG is a not-for-profit organisation with funding from a mix of Grants and Trusts, Donations, Commercial Partnerships, Fundraising and Gifts.


Abby Burton, Strategic Communications Manager: / 07495472645


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