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, United Nations (UN) agencies and programmes, NGOs and other members of civil society.

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 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 in March 2020 by UN Women in partnership with the IOC.

The sports movement is invited to join the Initiative to accelerate progress on a set of common principles and aligned objectives that will harness the power of sport in making gender equality a reality in and through sport.

Joining the Sports for Generation Equality Initiative means joining a powerful multi-stakeholder coalition – consisting of governments, United Nations organisations, sport for development and peace organisations, civil society, sports federations, event organisers, leagues, teams, brands, marketers, media and sport influencers, etc.

The Sports for Generation Equality Initiative will allow the sports movement to multiply the impact for gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment by learning from one another and accelerating efforts to:

  • Promote women’s leadership and gender equality in governance models;
  • Prevent and respond to gender-based violence;
  • Undertake to close the gap in investment in women’s sport and promote equal economic opportunities for women and girls;
  • Promote women’s sport’s equal participation and bias-free representation in the media; and
  • Provide equal opportunities for girls in sport, physical activity and physical education.

As part of its leadership role, the IOC will support the signatories in understanding and implementing the guiding principles of the Initiative.