This Saturday 8 March marks International Women's Day and the kick-off of the fourth IOC World Conference on Women and Sport in Jordan.
Representing ISAF at the Conference will be Luissa SMITH, Head of the Training and Development Department at the ISAF Secretariat. Fiona KIDD (CAN), chair of the ISAF Women's Forum, will also be in attendance as part of the Canadian Olympic Committee delegation, and ISAF Council Member Nazli IMRE (TUR) is attending in her role as Deputy Secretary General of the Turkish Olympic Committee.
During the Opening Ceremony of the Conference, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will reveal the winners of the 2008 IOC Women and Sport Award. IOC President Jacques ROGGE will announce the six recipients, one for each continent and one at world level. Each of them has made outstanding achievements in encouraging, promoting and developing the participation of women and girls at all levels in the sporting world. The 2008 winners were selected by the IOC Women and Sport Commission, chaired by IOC member Anita DeFrantz, from 70 candidatures submitted by the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs). ISAF has nominated three women for the awards: Fiona KIDD (CAN) for the Americas, Helen Mary WILKES (GBR) for Europe and Adrienne GREENWOOD (NZL) for Oceania.
"Sport As A Vehicle For Social Change"
The theme of the fourth IOC World Conference on Women and Sport is: "Sport as a vehicle for social change". Under this theme, the participants of the conference will debate and determine, amongst other subjects, how female athletes can serve as role models for young girls, how more women might take part in coaching and officiating, how to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic through sport, and how culture determines women's access to sport.
Keynote speakers include former top athletes, representatives from governments, businesses, UN agencies, media and academics. The two-day conference is under the patronage of Their Majesties, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and jointly organized by the IOC and the NOC of Jordan.
ISAF has a clear focus on increasing women's representation across all areas and levels of the sport. The Athens Olympic Games saw women's participation in Olympic sailing hit a new benchmark of 35% of the athlete quota (137 of 400 competitors), a level that will be maintained in 2008. ISAF has as taken steps to match this level of gender representation in the governance of the sport. Currently their a women members on all ISAF Committees, and ISAF has introduced guidelines for 20% of the members of each committee and 15% of the Chairmen and vice-chairmen of all committees being drawn from each gender.
IOC World Conference on Women and Sport - www.olympic.org/jordanconference
ISAF Women's microsite - www.sailing.org/women