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7 June 2006, 01:06 pm
Kumamoto Conference Commits To Women And Sport
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Women's Sailing News
Kumamoto, Japan

The fourth World Conference on Women and Sport held in Kumamoto, Japan under the auspices of the International Working Group on Women and Sport concluded on a high note. Key individuals and organizations made a firm commitment to work together and take action over the next four years to further advance the global status of women's participation in sport.
With highest participation ever in the World Conference on Women and Sport, the conference registered 700 delegates from almost 100 countries and regions including a delegation of 25 dedicated women from the African country of Botswana. Representing ISAF was Chako TOBARI (JPN) from the ISAF Women's Sailing Committee and the ISAF Women's Forum.

The International Working Group on Women and Sport in an independent co-ordinating body consisting of representatives' governments and key non-governmental organizations, as well as regional representatives. Its ultimate objective is to promote and facilitate the development of opportunities for girls and women in sport and physical activity throughout the world.

Local Help

Much of the success of the conference was due to the active participation of Mayor Seishi KOHYAMA and the citizens of Kumamoto. The citizens of Kumamoto participated in the conference, held welcoming events in the streets and raised funds to bring 13 delegates from developing countries around the world to the conference.

Under the banner of the Kumamoto Commitment to Collaboration, a selection of representatives from international organizations, national organizations, the United Nations, youth groups and national delegations publicly committed to a range of activities to be undertaken over the next four years. The energetic Botswanan delegation in the final plenary committed to developing and implementing a strategy, to developing strategic partnerships and to promoting women and sport through annual events upon their return home.

Commitment To Collaboration

The twelve workshops offered during the conference enabled participants to discuss in details such topics as - addressing HIV/Aids, ethical issues for women and sport, changing the culture of leadership in sport and sport as a tool for peace and development. Each workshop produced recommendations which will be available on the IWG website - www.iwg-gti.org.

At the end of the conference all the participants signed the Kumamoto Commitment to Collaboration saying:

'In order to realize gender equality in and through sport, we commit to building a network for close collaboration with relevant agencies and individuals. Over the next four years (2006-2010), we will further develop the vision of active participation in change born at the Kumamoto Conference.'

The Fifth World Conference will take place in Sydney, Australia in 2010. The Australian Organizing Committee demonstrated that they were already in full flight with an animated presentation reminiscent of the 2000 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, highlighting the city of Sydney.

Brighton Declaration

The Brighton Declaration was made following the first International Conference On Women And Sport in Brighton, Great Britain in May 1994. It provides the principles that should guide action to increase the involvement of women in sport at all levels, functions and roles.

At the ISAF Annual Conference in 1996, coincidentally also held in Brighton, the ISAF Council committed their support to the Brighton Declaration.

Proud Record

Sailing can boast a proud records of participation by women amongst the Olympic Sports. At the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the eleven sailing events showed a massive 32% increase in participation by women athletes compared to Sydney 2000, a higher increase than any other sport which previously included women's events in the programme. This increase saw sailing become the ninth most popular sport in terms of participating women athelete, with a 35% representation of women across the fleets in Athens 2004.

ISAF has a keen and long standing commitment to Women's Sailing, and both the ISAF Women's Sailing Committee and ISAF Women's Forum focus on the development of women's sailing.

IWG (As Amended By ISAF)
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