International Women's Day: "Women in Sports"

In keeping with the ILO commitment to gender equality and the improvement of working conditions for women, the International Labour Organization (ILO) celebrates International Women's Day each year by hosting a round table discussion and a film festival highlighting the role and/or achievements of women in a particular field of work. In follow-up to the International Year of Sport and Physical Education (2005), the subject of the 2006 events is "Women in Sports".

Because gender inequalities that exist across all professions are particularly apparent in sports, this field lends itself to the examination of some of these issues. For instance, it is generally accepted that in professional sports women earn far less money than men do, with the rationale that women's sports do not attract audiences or bring in money.

The main public event will be held at the ILO on 8 March, and is a collaborative effort by the ILO and the International Olympic Committee. At 10:00, a panel discussion will explore gender issues in the sports employment sector. Participants include former Olympic gold medallist Nawal El Moutawakel and World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Myriam Lamare. At 11:30, the IOC will present their annual "Women and Sport" awards, given since 2000 on International Women's Day to women or men (former athletes, coaches, administrators or journalists) or to organizations that have made a significant contribution to the development of women's sports in their countries.

In addition, a special photography exhibition entitled "Women in Sport, Yesterday and Today", on loan from the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, will be on display in the ILO colonnades from 6 to 17 March from 8.30 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, and until 8 pm during the Film Festival (from 6 to 10 March).

The third annual ILO International Film Festival on Women and Work will take place from 6 to 10 March in the Cinéma at the International Labour Office in Geneva. The selected films offer portrayals of women athletes from around the globe. Screenings will be open to the public and free of charge. The films will be shown in their original language and subtitled in either English or French; please check schedules for information on subtitles.

Further information:

International Labour Office (ILO)

4 route des Morillons

Phone: 022/799-7912

Public transport: Bus 8/28/F BIT stop