Stories

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Sport mobilizes the global community and speaks to youth. It unites across national barriers and cultural differences. It teaches women and girls the values of teamwork, self-reliance and resilience; has a multiplier effect on their health, education and leadership development; contributes to self-esteem; builds social connections; and challenges harmful gender norms. To celebrate women in sport, here are just a few inspirational women breaking down gender barriers all around the world.
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UN Women, the United Nations body dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, has joined the Advisory Council of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights.
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In a speech at the UN Women Sport for Generation Equality event, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka highlighted the importance of sport in showcasing the strength and leadership of women and girls, both on the field.
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Fatma Ahmed, 25, is a Generation Equality Champion and Founder of the Girls’ Inclusion in Sports Campaign based in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
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UN Women and the International Olympic Committee’s programme, “One Win Leads to Another” gives tools of empowerment to girls and young women from vulnerable communities across Brazil through weekly sport practice and life skills training. In February, before coronavirus containment measures were put in place, some girls from the programme met the international football star and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Marta Vieira da Silva. Now, as the girls are confined to their...
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A few days after having made landmark decisions demonstrating that gender equality is a reality at the olympic games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken a leadership role in the UN Women Sports for Generation Equality initiative, which aims to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in and through sport. The initiative was launched today by UN Women in partnership with the IOC.
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Led by UN Women, the Sports for Generation Equality Initiative is an invitation for the sports ecosystem to be part of a powerful multi-stakeholder coalition to make gender equality a lived reality in and through sport.
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Global soccer star, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and UN SDG Advocate, Marta Vieira da Silva was honoured in the Carnival parade in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
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Hingride Marcelle Leite de Jesus is a 20-year-old graduate of One Win Leads to Another, a joint programme between UN Women and the International Olympic Committee, which provides weekly sport practice and life skills sessions for adolescent girls in Brazil. She recently met with the football player Marta Vieira da Silva, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, and participated in a Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Wasfia Nazreen, 37, is a Bangladeshi mountaineer, activist, social worker and writer. She is the only Bangladeshi and the first Bengali to scale “the Seven Summits” [the highest peaks on each of the seven continents]. She holds the simultaneous titles of National Geographic Explorer and Adventurer. 
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Fathime Tibu, 26, is the youngest female coach of MTG United, the football league for Moving the Goalposts (MTG), a sport for development organization based in Kilifi, Kenya. She recently spoke to UN Women about her own journey, aspirations, and how sport is a powerful tool to empower girls.
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Dorcas Amakobe is the Executive Director of “Moving the Goalposts”, a sport for development organization based Kilifi, a coastal town in Kenya. As part of a UN Women programme funded by the Government of Japan on enhancing women’s active participation in prevention of violent extremism in Kenya, the organization ran a project that provided livelihood skills training and helped build financial independence of young women engaged in its sport programme to build their resilience.
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Wilma Riziki Kazunguis learned to play football as a teenager. Today she is an entrepreneur and a football coach from Kilifi, Kenya.
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The first-ever memorandum of understanding (MoU) between FIFA and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) was signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka at the FIFA Women’s Football Convention
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This month the world of football is looking to France, where the top 24 teams compete in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. UN Women attended the opening match in Paris and joined FIFA’s Global Women’s Football Convention on 7 June.
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Neli Nabogi, 34, grew up in a family where girls were expected to listen and not speak. As a result, she lacked confidence as a young woman. That, and so much more, has changed since she was selected to become a rugby coach for the new Get Into Rugby PLUS programme. The programme is empowering coaches and adolescent players, who learn rugby and life skills.
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A new sport programme in Fiji is breaking gender stereotypes among students and coaches alike, as both male and female school teachers get trained as coaches.
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The UN Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of world-renowned soccer player Marta Vieira da Silva as one of his new Sustainable Development Goals Advocates for 2019-2020. The Advocates are 17 influential public figures who are tasked by the Secretary-General to promote the Goals, raise awareness with new audiences, maintain global commitment and call for greater ambition and scalable action to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
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Bhagwati Bhattarai-Baral is the Team Captain of Nepal’s National Women’s Blind Cricket Team. The team recently won the First International Women’s Blind Cricket Series held in Pakistan in February 2019. Bhattarai-Baral and her teammates have overcome many challenges to prove that women with disabilities can be competitive professional athletes.
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UN Women expresses its strong concern that the recent ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on female athletes with naturally elevated levels of testosterone contravenes the international human rights norms and standards expressed in the United Nations Human Rights Council’s resolution of March 2019 on the ‘Elimination of Discrimination against Women and Girls in Sport’.