In partnership with the National Olympic Committee of Brazil, the programme targets the National Youth School Games to spread the messages of non-discrimination, non-violence, girls’ empowerment and positive masculine traits among boys. This pilot project will be implemented initially in 50 schools across the state of Rio de Janeiro, and will serve as a model that can be rolled out nationally and internationally.
“With the Olympic Games Rio 2016 less than a year away this programme will add to the many Olympic legacies already planned for the city, the region and the country," said IOC President Thomas Bach. "Olympic Agenda 2020, our strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, has targeted gender equality as a key goal and this project will deliver in a very concrete way working with young women through sport, ” he added.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director said: "“Through sport, girls and women build skill, strength, unity and determination. These are powerful assets for life; sport helps build their social, economic and political empowerment beyond the arena. We value our strong partnership with the IOC and look forward with them to making a difference in the lives of young women and girls.”
Promoting women in sport both on and off the field of play are of key importance to the IOC. With the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020 the IOC reaffirmed its commitment to fostering gender equality, strengthening support to athletes, and entering into strategic partnerships linked to its long-standing cooperation with the UN and its relevant agencies.
The agreement between the IOC and UN Women was signed on the side-lines of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) that adopted the post-2015 Development Agenda last week in New York. Sport is included in the final outcome document as an “important enabler” of sustainable development.
President Bach was named a HeForShe by UN Women earlier this year and has, together with thousands of men and boys around the world, joined this solidarity campaign that fights for gender equality and women’s rights. Last month the IOC approved the sports programme for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires which will see complete gender equality with equal numbers of boys and girls competing.
The IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UN Women in 2012 to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through sports. The partnership with UN Women is a concrete example of how sport can help break down barriers and challenge gender norms, not only on the field of play, but also in the workplace, at home, in schools and in other aspects of society.