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OCA Women and Sport Committee members gather for a photo call in Tokyo.

Council News

OCA Women and Sport Committee push for more female representation in leadership positions

Date : 27 Nov 2018

Tokyo, Japan, November 27, 2018: Newly elected IOC Member Samira Asghari of Afghanistan made a guest appearance at the meeting of the OCA’s Women and Sport Committee at Prince Sakura Tower in Tokyo on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old women’s sports movement pioneer, who became an IOC Member at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires last month, joined in discussions and pledged to promote the concerns and initiatives of the OCA Women and Sport Committee at the highest level.

Asia now has six female IOC Members, comprised of two from China and one each from India, Philippines, Thailand and Afghanistan.

The Chair of the OCA Women and Sport Committee, Natalya Sipovich of Kazakhstan, welcomed the members and conducted a series of enlightening discussions on the problems facing women in sport in several Asian countries.

While the level of participation of female athletes in major sports events is increasing – for example, 43 per cent of the athletes at the OCA’s 18th Asian Games in Indonesia in August were females – there still needs to be a lot of work done to improve the involvement of women in the administrative structure.

This applies to the number of coaches and technical officials as well as within Asian NOCs, as only one of 45 NOCs has a female president - Laos - and only four Secretary-Generals are female.

These four include OCA Women and Sport Committee members Hellen Sarita de Lima of Indonesia NOC and Jackie Shen Yi-Ting of Chinese Taipei.

“I hope that in the very near future the situation will change and we will see more females in leadership positions in the NOCs,” said Mrs Sipovich.

To this end, the OCA Women and Sport Committee is asking the OCA President to urge all NOCs to increase women’s representation in sports leadership positions.

“Our committee is confident we will achieve our goal of gender equality in sport in Asia using concrete actions and strong political commitment by all sports leaders,” Mrs Sipovich says in a letter to the OCA.

Mrs Sipovich and her committee members are also writing to all 45 NOCs urging them to nominate female candidates for the 16 OCA committees, which will be formed after next year’s OCA General Assembly in Bangkok on March 3.

The committee heard reports on the activities and also the barriers and problems facing women in sport in the five zones of the OCA, with Palestine making encouraging progress within national sports associations such as boxing and cycling.

Regarding the South East Asia region, Singapore NOC has formed a Women and Sport Committee to complete a full house of 11 NOCs in the SEA zone. The Chair of the SEA Games Federation Women and Sport Committee has been passed to the Philippines as host of the next SEA Games in 2019, after which it will move to Vietnam for 2021.

In other news, Chinese Taipei NOC is planning to organise an international conference on “safe sport” to draw attention to the growing problem of sexual harassment involving coaches and athletes.

Members attended the meeting from Jordan, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Nepal, Korea, Pakistan, Oman, Iran and Indonesia. The OCA was represented by Elena Chakarova from the International Relations Department.

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