The ‘Women. Fast Forward’ event was held this Tuesday ( August 9) in Rio at the Olympians Reunion Centre. This event was hosted by the World Olympic Association (WOA), the Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) and EY. The event highlighted the impact the Olympics has on empowering women and showcasing some of the best women athletes in the world.

Attended by IOC President Thomas Back and President of the World Olympians Association, Joël Bouzou, this event highlighted the issue of Women in Sport.  EHF President and IOC Commission member for Women in Sport Marijke Fleuren was present at this forum as well.

IOC President Thomas Bach spoke at the event and said “Gender equality is not a ‘women’s issue’. It is a basic human right of profound importance and a fundamental principle of the Olympic Charter.” He stressed that the goal of the IOC is to have 50% female participation at the Games. Rio has come just a little short of that goal with 46% female participation, but Mr. Bach stressed the tremendous effort made by athletes all over the world to reach this historic participation number.

Beth Brooke-Marciniak, the Global Vice Chair of Public Policy and Sponsor of Diversity and Inclusiveness at EY and member of the IOC Women in Sport Commission gave the keynote address and said, “Women’s success in sport has a ripple effect in society”. Other speakers featured included two-time Olympic gold medallist Donna de Varona and Mr Bouzou from WOA.

EHF President Marijke Fleuren said of the event “I am truly touched every time I listen to Thomas Bach and Donna de Verona. They really work hard to get women involved, time and time again. The #HeforShe policy is crucial to achieve gender parity, as is having role models for women and girls everywhere. I try to play my part wherever I can!

Learn more about the HeforShe initiative here

Source: WOA/EHF