United Nations Women Aotearoa NZ and Women in Sport Aotearoa announce advocacy partnership through to 2025

  • UN Women Aotearoa and Women in Sport Aotearoa unite forces to deliver better outcomes for women and girls in sport and recreation.
  • Seven weeks until the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport, the largest gathering to advance gender equality and equity in sport and physical activity. 

United Nations Women Aotearoa NZ and Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa (WISPA) are joining together to encourage the sports ecosystem to be a leader in advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls in all their diversity in and through sports.

The two organisations will work together to tackle the various challenges women and girls face in sport and recreation and aim to deliver better outcomes for them and their communities.

“Sport holds the enormous capacity to propel gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment. It mobilises the global community and speaks to youth. It unites across national barriers and cultural differences. It is a powerful tool to convey important messages in a positive and celebratory environment – often to mass audiences.” Says UN Women.

“UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to working with Women in Sport Aotearoa, over the next 3 years, starting this September, to multiply impact for gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment by accelerating efforts to drive positive change in the sports ecosystem. The alliance, which supports the strategic priorities of United Nations Women Aotearoa NZ’s Sport for Generation Equality Campaign, will create meaningful impact, generating opportunities for learning and scaling best practices”, says President of UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand, Tara Singh. 

The five key areas of focus for the UN Women Sport for Generation Equality Campaign are:

1. Promote women’s leadership and gender equality in governance models 

2. Prevent and respond to gender-based violence 

3. Undertake to close the gap in investment in women’s sport and promote equal economic  opportunities for women and girls

4. Promote women’s equal participation and bias free representation in media 

5. Provide equal opportunities for girls in sports, physical activity and physical education

The partnership comes in advance of the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport, taking place from 14-17 November, with hundreds of global sports leaders gathering in Auckland and virtually to work together to design and launch real practical solutions.

“We successfully became the international host for the International Working Group on Women & Sport (IWG) Secretariat in 2018. It could not have been possible without the incredible support of sport and active recreation government agency Sport New Zealand; plus the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE); the Ministry for Women; Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED); Tourism New Zealand; and the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC).”

“The collective power of these groups demonstrates the essence and purpose of the upcoming IWG Conference – that the collaboration of ideas, solutions, and knowledge can make a global impact for gender equality and equity in sport and physical activity. In the same way, we believe the partnership with UN Women Aotearoa will help us to advocate for and improve the experiences of women and girls participating, leading or working in sport and recreation in Aotearoa,” says Chief Executive of Women in Sport Aotearoa and New Zealand IWG Secretary General, Rachel Froggatt.

The conference has confirmed delegations from all over the world, including; Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Switzerland, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Discounted Group Packages are available now for delegations of five and above, with a call to action to ‘Register your Delegation’. Confirmed delegations include World Rugby, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Oceania Hockey, the Japan Sports Council, and many more: https://iwgwomenandsport.org/register-group-delegation/

About UN Women Aotearoa NZ

UN Women is the United Nations Entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women with a mission to ensure that globally, all women and girls have equal opportunities. ​

Women’s empowerment is about ending violence, responding to women’s urgent needs in an emergency, providing training and supporting women’s employment, leadership and economic development. Our role in Aotearoa New Zealand is to mobilise women’s empowerment efforts through raising awareness about women’s issues and providing support towards UN Women’s programmes in our neighbouring Pacific countries and around the world.

UN Women Aotearoa NZ is a registered charity. Visit www.unwomen.org.nz to learn more or to donate to ensure that every woman and girl lives up to her full potential.

About Women in Sport Aotearoa

Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa, exists to transform society through leadership, advocacy and research, ensuring that all women and girls gain equity of opportunity to participate, compete and build careers in play, active recreation and sport in Aotearoa New Zealand.

WISPA was established by 22 original Foundation Members – made up of senior women from across sport, business, government, and academia – and launched on UN International Women’s Day 2017. Its strategic vision is to see ‘women and girls valued, visible and influential in sport’. It is working toward this through delivery of insight and research, change leadership, advocacy campaigns, speaking engagements and events like the Captains’ Lunch and the Sport NZ Women and Girls Summit.

WISPA works across Aotearoa New Zealand and is currently delivery agent for the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport Secretariat and Conference 2018-22, with the 8th IWG World Conference taking place in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Online between 14-17 November 2022. The conference is being designed and staged by WISPA, with support from more than 150 volunteers.

Women in Sport Aotearoa is a charity. Its funding comes from a mix of grants and trusts, donations, fundraising, gifts and commercial partnerships. Visit www.womeninsport.org.nz to learn more or donate.

About the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport

The IWG is the world’s largest network dedicated to empowering women and girls and advancing sport. Established in 1994, the IWG advocates for gender equity in sport and physical activity year-round, partnering with key agencies, including UN Women and UNESCO. It developed and remains guardian of the Brighton plus Helsinki 2014 Declaration on Women & Sport, which now has almost 600 signatories, and delivers the well-respected IWG Progress Report at the quadrennial IWG World Conference. The IWG administrative function moves every four years and is currently in Aotearoa New Zealand. In mid 2021 it was announced that the IWG Secretariat and World Conference 2022-26 quadrennial will be hosted by the United Kingdom, with the Sport and Recreation Alliance taking over as global delivery agency in mid 2022. The IWG UK Secretariat will be hosted in London and the 9th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport will take place in Birmingham in mid-2026.

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For further information contact:

Madison Walker – Executive Officer UN Women Aotearoa NZ

madisonwalker@unwomen.org.nz