17 Mar 2016
Led by Nicole Hoevertsz, an IOC delegation is currently taking part in CSW60 in New York, which is looking at women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development, to highlight the sports movement’s contribution to achieving this objective.
The 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) is being held in New York from 12 to 24 March, with “Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development” as its priority theme, and the review theme of “The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”. In connection with this Session, the IOC, in collaboration with UN Women and the Brazilian government, is organising a side event entitled “2030 Agenda – the contribution of sport to achieve gender equality and end violence against women and girls”.
The IOC delegation at CSW60 is being led by Nicole Hoevertsz, a synchronised swimming Olympian in 1984 for the Netherlands Antilles and an IOC Member since 2006. She will be giving the opening address at the side event, in which she will highlight the sustainable legacy that the forthcoming Games in Rio will leave thanks to the work of the Brazilian government to empower women and girls. Those present on this occasion will include Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Brazil’s Permanent Representative to the UN and Chair of the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
The other participants in this forum, moderated by two-time Olympic swimming champion Donna de Varona, are Heather Cameron, Founder and CEO of the NGO “Boxgirls”, which uses women’s boxing as a catalyst for social change; Kahlida Popal, former Captain of the National Afghan Women’s Football Team; and Maria Arago, Event Manager, Valencia Club de Fútbol (Spain), a UN Women programme partner. They will all be talking about their work to get more women involved in sport, changing mentalities, moving closer to parity and breaking down barriers, as well as inspiring the whole world.
A question-and-answer session with the audience will be held before UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka makes the closing remarks.
The importance of sport in achieving the UN Agenda 2030 goals
The UN Agenda 2030, adopted in 2015, reaffirms the importance of sport as a key enabler of sustainable development and recognises its contribution to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities. For its part, the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 stresses gender equality both on and off the field of play as one of its main missions.
The IOC thus firmly believes in the potential for sport to help achieve four of the sustainable development goals (SDG) established by the UN Agenda 2030: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (SDG 3); Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (SDG 5); Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG11); and Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development (SDG 16).
The day after the CSW60 side event, Nicole Hoevertsz will address the Commission as the IOC’s representative. She will talk about the work already done or planned as a result of Olympic Agenda 2020, which commits the sports movement to achieving full parity in terms of women’s participation in the Olympic Games. But she will also draw attention to all the work still needed to achieve greater equality within the decision-making bodies. These efforts to achieve equality and combat violence do not just concern sport, but also apply at the workplace, at home, in schools and in all other aspects of society.