It's Different for Girls

Media Coverage for Women's Sport

A Chance to be Voice for the Voiceless’

WOMEN-10000MU.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls it “transformative change.” And those devoting the next four weeks of their lives in hopes of that change have already begun the journey.

Grace Kiraguri, 38, launched her own sports marketing company in Kenya, the only female-run firm of its kind in the nation, after Googling successful marketing firms in the United States.

Aparna Popat, 34, once the 16th-ranked badminton player in the world and an Olympian who represented India in the Sydney and Athens Games, would like to bring sport to the slums of Mumbai as part of her role as a manager at Indian Oil, one of the country’s largest corporate sponsors of sports activities.

Adriana Correa, 34, is in charge of designing and developing sports community programs in 77 border regions of Colombia, an area where extreme poverty, a lack of educational opportunities and teenage pregnancy are just some of the obstacles she confronts.

Tilabilenji Mvunga, 32, works for a non-government organization in Zambia that uses sport as a tool to educate citizens living with HIV and wants only to increase her ability to integrate life skills through sport.

Though just 25, Aziza Kayumova is already recognized by the Tajikistan Embassy as one of the most respected coaches in the nation with her own federation for sport and dance, but would like to ease the suffering and discrimination of women and girls in her country through education and help in finding employment.

“These are emerging leaders who have already stepped up to the plate and faced challenges in their countries,” said Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. “They have the drive and commitment. They’ve shown that. But they need that next step to help them solidify their thought and action.”

To that end, as the cornerstone of Clinton’s three pillars of empowering women through sports, the State Department and espnW have teamed to create the Global Women’s Sports Mentoring Program, in which promising international leaders like Kiraguri, Popat and 15 others like them will be paired for the next four weeks with leading American women in sports-related fields in the hopes of building sustainable partnerships and support networks, and assembling a specific action plan to promote women and girls worldwide.

From physical education teachers to journalists to managers of corporations with a sports-related focus, the program kicked off this week in Washington after an extensive selection and matching process.

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This entry was posted on June 12, 2013 by in Inequality.
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