World sport leaders champion women on IWD

MANCHESTER, England, March 8 (Reuters) – FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura applauded the eight nations making their debuts at the Women’s World Cup in celebration of International Women’s Day on Wednesday and urged the players to be proud of their ability to do so to inspire.

Haiti, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Ireland, Vietnam and Zambia will make their debuts in the global women’s football showcase, which runs from July 20th to August 8th. 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

“See you ladies who are mothers, sisters, students and athletes. Women that they identify with and excel on the pitch,” Samoura said in a statement.

“This will encourage a generation of young girls and women to aim high, aim high. Standing up for yourself and pushing yourself beyond greatness, on the pitch but also in life.”

Several other athletes championed women and applauded advances on International Women’s Day, which has its roots in the early 20th-century US socialist and labor movements, when many women fought for better jobs and the right to vote.

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England’s Lionesses hailed the UK government’s pledge that every girl in Britain will have equal access to football at school – a cause the women’s national team has supported since winning the Euro 2022 title last August.

Schools are expected to offer at least two hours of physical education per week and ensure girls have equal access to all school sports, including football.

“An announcement that will forever change women’s football in England and the start of something very special,” the Lionesses said in a statement. “We see this as just the beginning.”

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Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic hockey champion for Canada, praised her parents in a celebratory Instagram post.

“My mother was an amazing female role model who stood up for women’s rights and my father was an amazing male role model who believed that anything a little boy could do, a little girl could do,” she said. “They were a big reason I was able to overcome barriers and get my medical degree.”

International Tennis Federation President David Haggerty urged men to step up in the fight for gender equality.

“The role of men cannot be underestimated,” Haggerty said in a statement. “It is our shared duty and responsibility to find the best way to address the gender imbalance.”

The ITF launched the Men as Allies programme, an element of the ITF Advantage All equality strategy.

“It’s time to stand up for the champions,” said Haggerty, who is the United Nations HeForShe Champion. “We invite male leaders from all walks of tennis to become Advantage All Male Allies.”

According to the ITF, allies are expected to commit to making a concrete contribution to gender equality goals.

Sebastian Coe championed female leadership in a Twitter video, saying that women in positions of influence lead to better organization.

Coe added that “I might be a little controversial,” and suggested the challenges might not have been as profound if World Athletics had had more women in leadership positions during some of the darker years of the past.

Reporting by Lori Ewing Editing by Christian Radnedge

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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