Interfaith event supports women and girls full participation in sports
The 6th World Conference on Women and Sport (IWG) has brought together 800 decision-makers, politicians, researches, educators and students, coaches and athletes to Helsinki, Finland with the aim of advancing the dialogue around women in sports and creating positive change.
“Sport can foster positive role models for women and girls, projecting positive images of strength, courage, victory and audacity”, writes Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO in her address to this conference that takes place on June 12 – 15, 2014.
The first international conference on women and sport took place in Brighton, UK 20 years ago. The conference specifically addressed the issue of how to accelerate the process of change that would redress the imbalances women face in their participation and involvement in sport.
Women are still significantly under-represented in management, coaching and officiating, particularly at the higher levels. Without women leaders, decision makers and role models within sport, equal opportunities for women and girls will not be achieved.
The theme of the conference is Lead the Change- Be the Change. One of the Distinguished Speakers is Ms. Kalyani Subramanyam, who works to empower disadvantaged girls in India, emphasizes that without gender equality and women’s empowerment, we won’t be able to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
There will be an interfaith service hold on Saturday for conference participants organized by the Union of Lutheran Parishes in Helsinki. People from different faiths want to support the equal participation of girls and women in sports. There will be people from Judaism, Christian Faith, Islam, Bahá’í Faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Brahma Kumaris and Atheism to present their prayers, poems and music.
“It is a human right to do sport despite the gender and faith. Some of the important aims of interfaith dialogue and co operation are to stregthen those religious interpretations that promote human rights and to work together for human rights”, says Ms. Heidi Rautionmaa, the co ordinator of this interfaith event.
Sport is a cultural activity which, practiced fairly and equitably, enriches society. It offers the individual the opportunity of self-knowledge, self-expression and fulfilment; personal achievement, skill acquisition and demonstration of ability; social interaction, enjoyment, good health and well-being. Sport promotes involvement, integration and responsibility in society and contributes to the development of the community.
Watch the live stream and recording of this interfaith event called Celebrating diversity through interfaith encounters, at the Finlandia Hall:
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