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February 24, 2012

Archery at IOC Women and Sport Conference

Los Angeles, CA - Archery had a strong presence at the 5th International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conference on Women and Sport, held last weekend in Los Angeles. Prof Dr Ugur Erdener, President of World Archery, as well as Denise Parker, USA Archery CEO, took part in the event; Erdener acted as a moderator on 17 February 2012 for a dialogue session on the topic "Why is there a separate category of events for women? Determining eligibility?"

The three-day conference, whose theme was "Together Stronger: the Future of Sport," ended on February 19 with over 800 delegates from 135 countries unanimously approving "The Los Angeles Declaration", a series of recommendations aimed at promoting gender equality in sport and using sport as a tool to improve the lives of women around the world.

The declaration focused on two main themes:

The need to bring more women into management and leadership roles

The need to increase collaboration and partnerships, especially with UN organizations, to promote gender equality.

Organized jointly by the IOC, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, the event covered a range of subjects associated with the efforts to strengthen women's representation both on the sports field and in leadership positions. The record number of delegates at this year's conference included well-known figures from the world of sport, as well as representatives of civil society, government and academia.

Other high-profile speakers at the conference included IOC Women and Sport Commission Chairperson Anita DeFrantz, Chairman of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Sebastian Coe, HE Marjon V. Kamara, Chair of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women.

Another speaker was Geena Davis, Academy Award-winning actress and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. She was a semi-finalist for the 2000 women's Olympic archery team. At the conference in Los Angeles, the American actress had an excellent presentation in which she explained about her archery activities several times during her speech.

Also present at the Conference were World Archery Honorary President and IOC Member James L. Easton and his wife Phyllis, as well as Evelyn Papadopoulou, Gender Equity Coordinator for World Archery. World Archery has always had a strong presence of women with currently four women in the Executive Board of 15 members.

The 2012 Women and Sport Awards were presented on the opening day of the conference, with India's Manisha Malhotra winning the World Trophy for her commitment to helping disadvantaged girls progress through sport. The five continental winners were Peninnah Aligawesa Kabenge (Africa), the Bradesco Sports and Education Programme and Centre (Americas), Zaiton Othman (Asia), Aikaterini Nafplioti-Panagopoulos (Europe), and Roseline Blake (Oceania). 

Held every four years, the aim of the World Conference on Women and Sport is to assess the progress made in advancing the cause of gender equality within the Olympic Movement and to define future priority actions to improve and increase the involvement of girls and women in this framework.

Source: Prof Dr Ugur Erdener and IOC

Edited by World Archery Communication

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