Devoted to developing women’s sport, Meriem Cherni Mizouni from Tunisia wins IOC Women and Sport World Trophy

Monaco, Dec 9, 2014: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has today honoured six women for their remarkable contribution to women’s participation, both on the field of play and within sports administration. The IOC 2014 “Women and Sport” trophies were presented at a ceremony held during the 127th IOC Session in Monaco.

The World Trophy was awarded to Meriem Cherni Mizouni of Tunisia, a pioneer of women’s and girls’ sport in her country. The five continental trophies were awarded to:
– IOC Trophy for Africa: Aya Mahmoud Medany (Egypt)
– IOC Trophy for the Americas: Nancy Hogshead-Makar (USA)
– IOC Trophy for Asia: Cheikha Naïma Al-Sabah (Kuwait)
– IOC Trophy for Europe: Anastasia Davydova (Russia)
– IOC Trophy for Oceania: Siân Mulholland (Australia)

Secretary of State for Sport and Chairwoman of the Women and Sport Commission of the Tunisian National Olympic Committee (NOC), Meriem Cherni Mizouni is involved in promoting and including women in sport at all levels.

Thanks to her dynamism and commitment, this coach and former swimmer, who was Tunisia’s first female Olympian, at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, has set up various initiatives to increase the presence of women within administrative and decision-making structures. For example, since 2012, the country’s national sports federations have been required to employ female technical advisers to be responsible for the development of women’s sport. She also created the “Women’s Sport Night”, which now attracts thousands of girls and women in all regions of the country.

When asked for her reaction on winning this award, Meriem Mizouni explained: This is the greatest reward for a whole life devoted to sport. But it is above all a reward for Tunisian women generally. So I am proud for Tunisian women, who over time have become a symbol for the struggle against hatred and violence; proud for my NOC, which is resolutely engaged in supporting the Olympic values; and for my country, which since achieving independence has never stopped striving for progress, openness and tolerance.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Lydia Nsekera, Chair of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, said at the ceremony: “These extraordinary women are an inspiration for the sports world, especially for the young generations! They have navigated real obstacle courses during their career as athletes, leaders, wives and mothers.” She added: “The Olympic Movement has made great progress on the long road leading to full equality in sport. But there is still a lot of work to do. And this can happen only if we all, men and women, athletes, Olympians and leaders, take the solemn oath to show the way leading to change. […] We have no doubt that, thanks to Olympic Agenda 2020, whose recommendations we have just adopted, the promotion of women, including through sport, will be strengthened more than ever!”

The winners were selected by the IOC Women and Sport Commission from among the 39 candidates put forward by their NOCs, the NOC continental associations and the International Federations (IFs).

The candidature process for the 2015 edition of these awards is already open. The IOC invites all the NOCs, IFs or continental associations to put forward a person or association active in promoting gender equality and the presence of women in their sport or country.

Over the years, women’s participation in the world of Olympic sport has grown steadily thanks to the IOC’s constant action, in cooperation with the IFs and NOCs. The percentages of women Olympians at the London 2012 Olympic Games were of 44 per cent, and over 40 per cent at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. With the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC reaffirms its commitment to work with the IFs and NOCs with a view to achieving the goal of women representing 50 per cent of the athletes taking part in the Olympic Games, as well as promoting the participation and presence of women in sport generally. —- IOC

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