NZ to host world conference on women in sport


New Zealand will host the 8th International Working Group on Women in Sport (IWG) secretariat from 2018-2022.


One year on from its launch on International Women’s Day in 2017, Women in Sport Aotearoa has been instrumental in successfully bidding to host the 8th International Working Group on Women in Sport (IWG) secretariat from 2018-2022.

The announcement was made by Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson and Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter.

Women in Sport Aotearoa foundation board member Professor Sarah Leberman says the achievement reflects New Zealand’s strong commitment to gender equality, and will see the sport sector playing an important role both in New Zealand and internationally to lead positive change for women and girls.

The host flag will be handed over to New Zealand during the upcoming 7th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport in Gaborone, Botswana from the 17th to the 20th of May. Recently appointed New Zealand co-chair of the IWG, Raewyn Lovett, will accept the hand-over on behalf of New Zealand.

Women in Sport Aotearoa will be the lead delivery agent and will be responsible for meeting the IWG’s vision of ‘a sustainable sporting culture based on gender equality that enables and values the full involvement of girls and women in every aspect of sport and physical activity’. This will be undertaken in partnership with the steering group for the bid, including New Zealand Olympic Committee, Sport New Zealand, and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

The four year secretariat will culminate in the 8th World Conference on Women in Sport to be held in Auckland in 2022 in collaboration with IWG.

Women in Sport Aotearoa launched in March 2017 and is the first national New Zealand advocacy network devoted to bringing about positive change for women and girls in sport. Co-chairs Julie Paterson, chief executive of Tennis New Zealand, and Professor Sarah Leberman, Dean Academic, Massey University, both credit their time with women’s sport organisations in the USA as pivotal in the establishment of the entity.

“We both agree that the impact of Women in Sport Aotearoa has been far more than we could have hoped for in the short time since we launched on International Women’s Day, in 2017,” Ms Paterson. “To have the mandate internationally is an incredible privilege. We are continuing on our path to ensure women and girls are visible, valued and influential in sport." 

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