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UNESCO, Women’s Tennis Ace Out Gender Inequality

UNESCO in Doubles With Women’s Tennis to Ace Out Gender Inequality

New York, Nov 13 2006 1:00PM

In a further partnership between United Nations agencies and sports organizations, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has teamed up with the governing body of women’s tennis to ace out gender inequality.

The partnership with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour will seek to raise both funds and awareness through a “Promoter of Gender Equality” player programme at both global and national levels as well as mentoring, scholarship and fellowship projects designed create opportunities and the environment for women and girls to succeed in all walks of life.

“I have always believed that as the world’s leading sport for women, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to help break down barriers to success for women,” said former World No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams, who has volunteered to serve as the first global “Promoter of gender equality,” at the Tour’s season-ending event in Madrid, Spain, yesterday.

“Through this partnership with UNESCO, our goal is to let women and girls throughout the world know that there are no glass ceilings, and to do our part to support programmes that provide real opportunities for women to succeed in whatever they set their minds to,” she added.

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said the partnership is aimed at “strengthening national commitment to women’s empowerment and enhancing women’s capacity to fully partake in all forms of societal development.”

Billie Jean King, founder of the Tour and legendary advocate of women’s rights issues, was on hand at the launching. “If there is a single principle upon which the women’s tour was founded, it was equality,” she said. “Partnering with UNESCO makes so much sense, and their global reach and expertise will help us to achieve our shared goal of gender equality.”

Only last week, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) launched the “Cricket Against Hunger” partnership with the England and Wales cricket team to draw attention to the plight of the 400 million chronically hungry children around the world.

The agency also has similar fund- and awareness-raising arrangements with the International Rugby Board as well as with individual stars from the worlds of soccer, American football, marathon running and Formula One auto racing.


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