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01. June 2006

3 girls at women´s race Casablanca © Heather Cameron

Nawal el Moutawakel © Heather Cameron

Nawal el Moutawakel, Maroccan Olympia winner and organisator of the "Course Feminine" in Casablanca.

Participants women´s run Casablanca © Heather Cameron

2 girls womens´s race © Heather Cameron

group in Casablanca ©Heather Cameron

“Taking the Next Step - Gender Equity through Sport”

An International Conference on Gender and Sport in Casablanca, May 2006

Once a year women are in the public. The people applauded, they rooted for the women and girls. In the afternoon, after the event, women went back into their houses and men were in the streets and coffee houses. It is a long way, and tempo is necesarry – this is why sports is theat great“. Edit Schlaffer

Press Release

Women running to take the next step on Gender Equity

22.000 women and girls reached the finish line after 10k of the ‘Course Feminine’ organized by Olympic Champion Nawal El Moutawakel in Casablanca, Morocco. Among them were 40 international women who participated in the three-day conference on Gender Equity within Sport for Development programs.

The conference is a combined effort of Nike, the Dutch organization for Development (NCDO) and the Moroccan organization for Sports and Development (AMSD) supported by Nawal El Moutawakel. The conference was attended by at least 20 NGO’s who run development programs all over the world. Special guests of the conference were world champion marathon runner Tegla Laroupe from Kenya and Olympic Champion Marie-José Pérec from France.

The attendees came together to share experiences, identify challenges and create a movement that will support sport as a tool in dealing with gender equity in development programs. The idea is to increase participation of women and girls in sport.

The attendees noted as the main results that they were able to learn from each other, exchange successes and work on solutions for challenges together. One of the examples was sharing learnings from a football program for girls in Mali that also focuses on raising HIV/AIDS awareness.

Participating in the ‘Course Feminine’ was a unique and symbolic way to close the conference. The race is an initiative of Nawal El Moutawakel to engage women and girls in sports. This year was the 8th edition of the race. Through this race many Moroccan Muslim women feel empowered, and gain self-confidence.

This race is a great example of the strength of sport. It shows that sport is a viable tool for sport for social change. Through these kinds of programs and movements, women get a chance for a better future.

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