IAAF promises more leadership role for women in athletics

We are committed to having equal opportunities for women in all our governance structures.
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe speaks during a press conference in Monaco on December 4, 2018. – The governing body of world athletics on December 4 maintained Russia’s ban from track and field over mass state-backed doping, citing two conditions before the powerhouse can return to international competition. (Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP)

The International Association of Athletics Federations IAAF says it will elect its first female vice-president this year as it continues its efforts to ensure that women are represented at the highest levels of the sport.

A statement released by the body said: “As we celebrate International Women’s Day, six women currently sit on the IAAF Council. That number will increase to seven at this year’s elections in September, and to 10 in 2023, before reaching parity with male Council members in 2027. Following the election of the first female vice president at this year’s IAAF Congress, two of the four vice president positions will be filled by women in 2027.”

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It further stated “Over the past 12 months, women’s leadership and administration seminars and symposiums have been held in five of the IAAF’s six Areas: Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) seminars in Cairo, Dakar and Nairobi; a European Athletics (EA) seminar in Brussels; an Oceania Athletics Association (OAA) seminar in Auckland; a South American Athletics Confederation (CONSUDATLE) symposium in Caracas; and a North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) event in Santo Domingo. Jakarta will host an Asian Athletics Association (AAA) seminar later this year.”

IAAF President Sebastian Coe also lent his voice to the move: “On International Women’s Day, I’m absolutely delighted to reinforce our commitment to gender balance in the governance structures of our sport. I formed our Gender Leadership Taskforce because I want to encourage more women into our sport and to provide the pathway and programmes to allow them to do that.”

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“We have equal opportunities for women in competition, and we are committed to having equal opportunities for women in all our governance structures. I have always believed that any organisation is stronger and more effective when women are properly represented at every level” Coe added.

To commemorate Women’s History Month, over the course of the next three weeks the IAAF’s social media channels will celebrate the achievements of both pioneers and contemporaries in women’s athletics.

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