19 January 2018 – Today, UN Women Country Programme Manager in China, Julie Broussard carried the Olympic Torch in Paju, South Korea, leading up to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. She called for gender equality in sport, following in the footsteps of UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who had carried the Olympic Torch at the 2016 Rio Games.
After five years of successful collaboration on women and sport, UN Women and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently renewed their commitment to continue empowering women and girls through sport and increasing women’s leadership and gender equality in the sport industry.
“I feel very honoured to carry this torch for the Winter Olympic Games representing UN Women,” said Ms. Broussard. “The Olympic Torch Relay is a symbol of peace and equality. UN Women runs for peace and for leaving no one behind,” she added.
Women have walked a long road to equality in the Olympic Games since women’s lawn tennis and golf started in Paris in 1900. Over time, more women’s events were added to the Games, but it was not until the 2012 London Olympic Games, when women’s boxing was introduced, that the modern-day Olympics included women in all sports.
UN Women actively uses sport as a tool for women’s empowerment around the world. For example, together with the IOC and Women Win, UN Women has piloted the innovative programme, “One Win Leads to Another” to empower young women and girls through sports in Brazil, leading up to the Rio Olympic Summer Games. The programme builds the leadership skills of adolescent girls through quality sports training, creates safe spaces for girls, and gives them knowledge and tools to break social barriers and access services when experiencing violence. One Win Leads to Another will be upscaled to additional countries in 2018.