New Zealand stages global IWG Women & Sport AGM in London

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Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Sport & Recreation, the Hon Grant Robertson, last week sent personal video messages to the Global Executive of the International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport, as it gathered in London from 7-9 June for the IWG Annual General Meeting 2019.

The AGM was the first one led by New Zealand (Women in Sport Aotearoa), since it took over as host nation for the IWG Secretariat & Conference 2018 – 2022 last October. The messages from the Prime Minister and Minister for Sport & Recreation reinforced New Zealand’s commitment to the IWG. They were played at the Welcome Breakfast, which was hosted by AGM sponsors, the British Olympic Association, British Paralympic Association, UK Sport and the Commonwealth Games Federation.

11 members of the IWG Global Executive attended the 2-day meeting, including: 

  • Raewyn Lovett, IWG Co-Chair – New Zealand
  • Ruth Maphorisa, IWG Co-Chair – Botswana
  • Rosa Diketmueller, International Association of Physical Education for Girls & Women (IAPESGW) Representative
  • Diane Huffman, WomenSport International (WSI) Representative
  • Matilda Mwaba, Africa Representative
  • Karen Morrison, Americas Representative
  • Etsuko Ogasawara, Asia Representative
  • Niina Toroi, Europe Representative
  • Emma Waiwai, Oceania Representative
  • Lilamani de Soysa, Co-Opted Expert
  • Game Mothibi, Co-Opted Expert

In her message, Prime Minister Ardern said:

“I’m really thrilled that, as a country, we will be welcoming delegates from around the globe in 2022, to an event (the 8th IWG World Conference, 5-8 May 2022) which champions gender equity and helps us increase opportunities for women and girls to be involved in sport and active recreation at all levels. New Zealand prides itself on the progress that we have made towards gender equity. We’re very proud of the fact that we were thr first country where women won the right to vote. We now have women represented throughout our leadership, including as our Governor-General, and Chief Justice, and I’m of course the third female Prime Minister that New Zealand has had.”

Watch her video message here.

Minister Robertson added:

“Winning the rights to host the International Working Group on women & Sport has been a real highlight for me as the Minister for Sport & Recreation. We know we’ve got a big legacy to follow on from and I want to thank Botswana for their hosting of the Secretariat over the last few years. I’ve made women and girls in sport one of my top priorities. We know that there is so much opportunity for women and girls to be able to fulfil their potential through sport and recreation. We’ve put in place a strategy which is focussed on lifting the value and visibility of women and girls in sport and making sure that we improve participation, and also leadership.”

Watch his video message here.

Before the AGM, Raewyn Lovett, IWG Co-Chair – New Zealand, said:

“New Zealand is thrilled to be hosting our first AGM as the new Secretariat. I must express great appreciation to the British Olympic Association, British Paralympic Association, UK Sport and the Commonwealth Games Federation for hosting and sponsoring this meeting.

Its incredibly important to bring the IWG Global Executive together like this once a year, given their geographical spread – we have experts in gender equity in sport attending from as far away as Papua New Guinea, Japan, America and Botswana, not to mention New Zealand. I am very much looking forward to the strategic discussions to come.”

The AGM agenda included planning for the 8th IWG World Conference, taking place 5-8 May 2022 in Auckland New Zealand; plus strategic development of the Brighton plus Helsinki 2014 Declaration on Women & Sport; evolution of the global network; development of IWG research and advocacy activity; plus other key IWG business for 2019-20.

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