Centeno participates in Women’s Day celebration in Lausanne
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, March 16, 2017 – FIVB Executive
Vice-Presidents Marta Eugenia Centeno O. De Sajche and Bouchra
Hajij helped celebrate International Women’s Day by attending
the three-day International Federation Women in Leadership Roles
Forum in Lausanne from March 6-8.
FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° and Secretary General
Fernando Lima also participated in the UN International Women’s
Day event in Geneva on Wednesday, which involved a roundtable
discussion with high-level speakers on the role of sports in
promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Discussing the progress of gender equality in sport over the
past year, FIVB President Ary Graça said: “International Women’s
Day is an important date for both the FIVB and sport in general.
It is crucial for International Federations to share in open and
engaging discussions as we did at the Palais des Nations today.
It has been a really positive year for the FIVB in this regard,
first with the historic participation of the Egyptian beach
volleyballers at the Rio 2016 Games, and more recently
continuing progress with Iranian authorities to allow women to
watch the men’s Kish Island beach volleyball event.
The FIVB are proud to have participated in both the UN
celebration and the IF Women in Leadership Roles Forum in
Lausanne, and I look forward to building on our experiences this
week to continue to create equal opportunities for women in
volleyball as we strive towards our goal of making volleyball
the number one family sport in the world.”
The IF Women in Leadership Roles Forum is jointly organised by
the IOC and ASOIF, and brings together female leaders in sport
to discuss gender equality. This year’s forum focused on
identifying methods of increasing development opportunities and
the recruitment of women in decision-making positions. The focus
of the forum follows the IOC Executive Board’s call to the
Olympic Movement to achieve a minimum of 30 per cent of women in
leadership roles by 2020. The FIVB, who have three women on
their Executive Board, actively promote equal opportunities for
women and are working towards equal representation in
management, coaching and officiating positions.
Bouchra Hajij said: “It is important for the FIVB to attend
events that focus on the key issues in sport, and issues that we
take pride in tackling head on. Since last year’s Forum there
have undoubtedly been positive steps taken to provide women with
better opportunities within sport, but there is still a lot of
work to do. The FIVB will continue to work towards creating
equal opportunities for women and it was very encouraging to see
female representatives from all 28 member federations of ASOIF
come together to work towards a common goal.
Marta Eugenia Centeno O. De Sajche said: “International Women’s
Day is both a time to celebrate the excellent work achieved over
the past year and focus on ways to make even greater progress in
the year ahead. The panel discussions, mentoring sessions and
practical workshops at the Women in Leadership Roles Forum were
a great way to exchange ideas and become better positioned to
advance the role of women in sport. The FIVB will continue to
strive for gender equality, and attending third party events
like the Forum is vital in discovering new ways to achieve our
The FIVB have made considerable progress to promote gender
equality both internally and externally over the past year. At
the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Egypt’s Doaa Elghobashy and Nada
Meawad made history as they became Egypt's first ever Olympic
team to compete in a beach volleyball tournament. Elghobashy
competed wearing a hijab and both athletes benefited from
relaxed FIVB rules regarding the attire that can be worn, which
now allow women to compete in full sleeves and trousers.
In countries where females have previously been restricted by
the rules on attires, the change has led to a surge in interest
from females wanting to take part in the sport. For example, the
Fiji Volleyball Federation and Pacific Volleyball Partnership (PVP)
programme ran their first beach volleyball coaching clinic on
March 5, aimed not only at growing the sport in Fiji, but also
promoting gender equality and greater female participation in
sport. The first clinic attracted 9 girls and three boys and
will run every Saturday in March.
International Women’s Day takes place every year on March 8 and
this year’s campaign theme was #BeBoldForChange.