Exactly a month ago, we celebrated International Women's Day 2020 (8 March) and asked leading women within the TAFISA family to share their thoughts and experience about Gender Equality, how we can better advocate an equal world with equal and fair conditions for women to participate in sports, and the need to change attitudes and listen to the voice of women.
We are grateful to Catherine Forde (TAFISA Vice-President, Trinidad & Tobago), Dr. Mitra Rouhi Dehkordi (TAFISA Board Member, Iran), Małgorzata Szukalska-Wrona (TAFISA Europe Steering Committee Co-Chair, Poland), and Flavia Epureanu (TAFISA Europe Steering Committee Member, Romania) for sending a strong and insightful message.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR TAFISA TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN´S DAY?
Catherine Forde: I consider the term "Sport for All and Physical Activity" to be unambiguous! This is the mandate it is very clear, it is All inclusive.
Małgorzata Szukalska-Wrona: TAFISA is the most open and inclusive organisation I know. All TAFISA programmes are successful in promoting solidarity, equality, integration and understanding for people from all over the world. International Women’s Day is a great occasion to thank all women involved in the Sport Movement for their efforts and engagement in making sport a strong feature of a better world.
Catherine Forde - TAFISA Vice-President - Trinidad & Tobago
Mitra Rouhi: During the history, women haven’t had enough opportunities to attend actively in sports to demonstrate their competence because of them being female. TAFISA pays special attention to the presence and activity of women in Sport for All and has set Gender Equality in its 2030 programme. In addition, TAFISA’s support for international women's sports organisations illustrates the importance TAFISA has for women's sports.
Flavia Epureanu: TAFISA is a leader in the global Sport for All Movement and it's in a powerful position to make a statement about women in sport and women in general. In the current climate, and the social movements happening internationally, on a social, cultural and political level, TAFISA sets an example for all other Sport For All organisations and celebrates WOMEN and their achievements. There are strong, capable women in the field that are trying to make a difference and be heard but they are still listened to less than men, and that needs to change. A good idea is a good idea, whether it comes from a man or a woman.
"It is now high time that "Women in Sport" takes on normalcy instead of continuing to be viewed as an ANOMALY."
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN WHO WISH TO PURSUE A CAREER IN SPORT?
Małgorzata Szukalska-Wrona - Co-Chairperson, TAFISA Europe Steering Committee - Poland
Catherine Forde: Do not lose your focus: train, become qualified and just keep on moving forward. Try to avoid the traps of tokenism and or symbolism but maintain your confidence and enthusiasm while building your competence.
Małgorzata Szukalska-Wrona: Sport is the sphere of our lives that provides a chance to get involved in many ways; it gives us many opportunities to use our abilities and talents. As a woman, mother and professional in the sport sector, every day I take advantage of sport as a healthy habit for my family and a challenge at my work. I believe that sport has so much to offer all women. There only remains the matter of discovering sport values and letting them support our daily life - as leisure, profession or both.
Mitra Rouhi: Women need to make every effort to be serious and effective at all levels of sport management. Women should not restrict themselves in various sports, including coaching, refereeing, management or athletic, for fear of failure. It is important to have the confidence, the drive to reach the goal and the competence of women to reach the highest level of success.
Flavia Epureanu: Say you've found a sport you love and can see yourself having a career but you don't have the athletic prowess, the natural abilities to be a professional sportswoman, then don't give up. Do you research and find an area that's connected to the field, such as sports management, wellness manager, coach, sports journalism, sports marketing and others. Working in the Sport For All area it's obvious to me that there are many careers in which you can make a difference without being a professional sportswoman. Don't let people and prejudices deter you. You can be a woman with a career in sport if you set your mind to it!
Dr. Mitra Rouhi Dehkordi - TAFISA Board Member - Iran
"Women’s experiences, values and attitudes can enrich, enhance and develop sport. My wish is to create equal and fair conditions for women to participate in sports."
WHAT IS YOUR ONE WISH FOR THE FUTURE OF WOMEN IN SPORT?
Catherine Forde: A bird which does not fly is considered an anomaly. We have reached 2020. It is now high time that "Women in Sport" takes on normalcy instead of continuing to be viewed as an ANOMALY.
Małgorzata Szukalska-Wrona: Women should have equal rights to participate in sport, manage sport and become sport champions and role models. I’m optimistic and I see that the world is becoming more balanced and equal. My wish is for all women, all over the world, to find their way to get satisfactory positions in sport - let’s reach our sport goals and let’s get our “golds” in all tasks that we do for sport.
Flavia Epureanu - TAFISA Europe Steering Committee Member - Romania
Mitra Rouhi: Women’s experiences, values and attitudes can enrich, enhance and develop sport. My wish is to create equal and fair conditions for women to participate in sports. My wish is that women with the power, courage and confidence are able to work as high-level at national and international level as men.
Flavia Epureanu: The same thing as in all areas: Equality. Not special treatment, not more chances, just equal opportunities.
TAFISA would like to thank all women fighting for equality for their courage and efforts. Through TAFISA Mission 2030, Gender Equality is a key objective for the Global Sport for All Movement to address and achieve.
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