Several sport and development stakeholders met in Paris on 1 July 2021 for a session on sport at the Generation Equality Forum. At the end of the session, the different stakeholders committed to transform the sports environment towards real equality between women and men and to use sport as a means to empower young girls.

From 30 june to 2 july, the Generation Equality Forum took place in Paris. This international event, organised by UN Women, brought various actors together with the aim of making progress towards gender equality. Sport, as a powerful tool for promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls, was not left out of the discussions.

On 1 july, the session entitled “The Paris Call on Sports for Generation Equality” was held, with the participation of resource persons in the field of sport and development. These actors have committed to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, in and through sport.

In response to the Paris appeal, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have promised to mobilize the “Sport for Development Coalition” initiated by Public Development Banks at the Finance in Common summit last year.

  • Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, has announced the launch of the Global Observatory for Women and Sport to address the lack of research and data.
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC), represented by Kirsty Coventry, is committed to : consolidate the Olympic Games as one of the most effective global platforms for promoting and accelerating gender equality; ensure gender equity in all communications related to the Olympic Games; accelerate the representation of women in governance and leadership positions across the Olympic Movement, to reach at least 30% of women in the decision-making bodies of sports organisations
  • FIFA General Secretary, Fatma Samoura, has outlined efforts to use the power of football to prevent violence against women and highlighted the role of the 2023 Women’s World Cup as a “springboard to inspire women, girls, and communities around the world and ultimately change the conversation on gender.”
  • The International Federation for Sports Officials (IFSO) has made four commitments: to ensure gender parity at events; to develop female leadership in sport; to organise girl-specific events in schools; to involve female role models and sports leaders
  • The Alice Milliat Foundation, headed by Aurélie Bresson, is committed to support more women professionals in sports and to celebrate their achievements in sport through festivals, awards, and competitions
  • Multinationals Adidas and Procter and Gamble have also made commitments at the forum. Adidas has announced the expansion of its “Breaking Barriers” programme to offer 50,000 girls across Europe the opportunity to benefit from sport and to create an open platform for any organisation to access its curriculum and tools. Marc Pritchard, Procter and Gamble’s brand director, emphasised the power of advertising, saying that P&G “will champion the accurate portrayal of female athletes, while raising their voices and highlighting the causes they champion, on and off the field.”

In addition to the promises, the forum was also a place to witness the positive impact of sport on young girls. Camilly Ferreira, 17, has explained how her participation in the UN Women/IOC ‘One Victory Leads to Another’ programme in Brazil has taught her to overcome difficulties, and to acquire many other skills.

Photo Credit : UN Women