This year, parity will be a guiding principle in the organisation of several international sports competitions.

International Women's Day will be celebrated this year, 2024, on a theme thatinspires inclusion: “Invest in women: Accelerate progress.” Ithas to do with human rights, with parity as the focal concern.

The Olympic Games Paris 2024 will be the first in history in which the same number of male and female athletes will participate. Male and female competitors on an equal footing. This is a milestone. We will be privileged witnesses of parity at the Olympic Games.

Female athletes from Africa will live these exceptional moments of sport and Olympism with joy.

In 1924, only 5% of the athletes competing at the Olympic Games were women. In 1984, 40 years ago in Los Angeles, women accounted for 23% and in Tokyo 2020 it was 49%. In Paris, in a few months, we will beat 50% women and 50% men.

Gender equality is in the spotlight. Our continent, Africa, is committed tothis vision. Several of our competitions incorporate the notion of parity. Sports competitions at the recent ANOCA Zone 3 Games in Lome, Togo, were exclusively for female athletes.

Future competitions, such as the African Games in Egypt, the African Beach Games in Equatorial Guinea, and the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026, will put a stamp on this state of affairs, which is quietly turning the tides in favour of women.

We still have to rise to the challenge of placing even more women at the highest levels of decision-making in African sports governing bodies. This was addressed at the second ANOCA gender equality forum held in SAL, Cape Verde, in October 2023.

We need women on the tracks and pitches, as well as in administrative governance of the African Olympic and sports movement. We need to give more women the opportunity to climb up the highest rungs of the sports management ladder. The “Women in High-Performance Sport” project offers just such an opportunity. Thanks to this project, more than 100 women from over 50 countries, representing 17 sports, have been trained as high-level coaches.

ANOCA has set up a Gender Equality Commission. It is doing a wonderful job in promoting women in the practice of sport to keep fit, and especially in elite sports practice.

The road to parity is long and fraught with challenges. From 1900 to 2024, the world has made history on the road to gender parity, which will be evidenced at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Africa is fully committed to the struggle to reject marginalisation of women in sport. Success beckons, and we should be proud of our join tactions, which have led to unprecedented women’s empowerment inAfrica.

Our daughters and our mothers have shaken up the world, and the world has returned the favour with joy and gratitude.

Advocacy for women's rights in Africa also, and above all, involves sport and Olympism.

May this International Women's Day, on 8 March 2024, put a stamp on our resolve to achieve genuine parity on our dear and beautiful continent, “mother of the world at large”! Let's celebrate women's sport in Africa; simply put, let’s celebrate the African woman.



Presidentof ANOCA

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