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IWG 2018-2022

Women in Sport Aotearoa was the IWG Secretariat and was responsible for the hosting of the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport from 14-17 November 2022. 1700+ global participants joined in person and virtually for 220+ sessions.

Read the final conference report here and watch the conference highlights below.

The International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport is the world’s largest network dedicated to advancing sport by empowering women and girls.

Established in 1994, the network developed and is the guardian of the Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport. Updated in 2014, the Brighton plus Helsinki Declaration now has over 550+ signatories – global organisations demonstrating their commitment to ensuring that women and girls can freely and safely participate, compete and build careers in sport. Amongst them stand the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and FIFA.

The IWG works year-round to bring attention to the important issues facing women and girls in sport by supporting the development and the sharing of research and insights, plus global advocacy. It partners with agencies, including the United Nations, UNESCO and WHO, to drive awareness and support positive change.

Every four years it stages the largest gathering in the world to advance gender equity and equality in sport and physical activity. The 8th edition was staged in Auckland, New Zealand, 14-17 November 2022 and hosted by Women in Sport Aotearoa. 

Find out more about the IWG at or on social media:

Photos: 7th IWG World Conference, including the moment New Zealand IWG Co-Chair Raewyn Lovett was handed the flag as the new host nation (May 2018).

IWG Secretariat 2018-2022

The global IWG Secretariat – the administrative function – shifts every four years and at the end of each period, the IWG World Conference takes place.

The 1st IWG World Conference, Brighton 1994, took place in the UK. Since then, IWG host nations have included Windhoek, Namibia (1998); Montreal, Canada (1998-2002); Kumamoto, Japan (2002-2006); Sydney, Australia (2006-2010); Helsinki, Finland (2010-2014); and Gabarone, Botswana (2014-2018).

Following a competitive bid in 2018, led by Women in Sport Aotearoa, alongside Sport New Zealand; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE); Ministry for Women; Tourism New Zealand; Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED); and New Zealand Olympic Committee, New Zealand won the right to be the international host nation for 2018-2022.

In September 2018, a delegation from IWG Botswana visited Auckland to hand over the reins to Women in Sport Aotearoa, for the international Secretariat programme and the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport, Auckland, Tāmaki Makaurau, 14-17 November 2022. This was a huge honour for New Zealand and presented an exceptional opportunity for the sports sector to step up. The conference was successfully delivered at Te Pōkapu, Aotea Centre and online. It was one of four major women’s events being hosted in Aotearoa between 2022-2023 alongside the Cricket, Rugby and Football World Cups.

Photos: 1) IWG Botswana Co-Chair welcomed by Ngati Whatua; 2) IWG Botswana Delegation at the official Farewell; 3) In front of the Suffrage 125 Monument in Auckland 

IWG New Zealand Team

Women in Sport Aotearoa was the official delivery agent for the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport Secretariat & Conference 2018-2022.

As the IWG Secretariat, Women in Sport Aotearoa pledged to:

  • Successfully deliver the IWG Strategic Plan and 2022 World Conference
  • Increase the significance and impact of IWG internationally
  • Build a highly networked and engaged global community
  • Stand up globally for safe sport
  • Build knowledge, networks and capability in Oceania to support and deliver sustainable change
  • Support New Zealand sport and recreation sector to become a global benchmark for gender equity
  • Build New Zealand’s reputation and position as a global thought-leader on gender equity in sport and recreation

The IWG and Women in Sport Aotearoa Patron, the Rt Hon. Helen Clark, was announced on UN International Women’s Day, 8 March 2019.

The IWG Co-Chair for New Zealand was Raewyn Lovett ONZM, alongside Ms Ruth Maphorisa of Botswana.

Women in Sport Aotearoa 2018-2022 Chief Executive Officer, Rachel Froggatt, was the IWG Secretary General 2018-2022.

To find out more about the role we played, please visit the Secretariat section of the IWG website.

8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport

The IWG World Conference on Women & Sport is the largest gathering in the world to advance gender equity and equality in sport and physical activity.

Women in Sport Aotearoa developed the theme and campaign for the conference in collaboration with Auckland agency, Bobs Your Uncle.

Learn more about the campaign and launch event below.

“Change Inspires Change”

The “Change Inspires Change” campaign and conference theme was all about empowering the individual to make positive change for women and girls in sport and physical activity worldwide. The concept followed a simple premise: “every change you make, no matter how small or large, inspires the next, and the next. By sharing your story, you can help inspire others to make change.” 

Watch the 90-second campaign film here:

The campaign was launched in September 2020 and was supported by a lineup of speakers and panellists, including Chief Executive of Sport New Zealand, Raelene Castle and Minister of Sport and Recreation, Grant Robertson. Read about the launch here and the post-event story here.

Watch the 90-minute online launch here:

IWG 2018-2022

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