The Montenegrin Olympic Committee (MOC) has become the latest signatory of the IWG’s Brighton plus Helsinki Declaration, cementing their commitment to creating more opportunities for women and girls to participate in sport at all levels.
The Brighton Plus Helsinki Declaration was created in 1994 and consists of 10 Principles which form an international treaty to support organisations in developing a culture that enables and values women within sport.
The Declaration was signed on Thursday 5th October by the MOC President, Mr. Dušan Simonović, during the European Olympic Committee (EOC) General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey, and complements the on-going work of the MOC in pushing towards gender equality within their country.
Amongst their areas of focus, the ‘Women, Sport and Governance’ project aims to promote structural change within the country by understanding the existing cultural barriers and encouraging sports to create sustainable change in order to increase female representation in sports leadership and decision-making positions. On the performance side of sport, the ‘EmpowerHER’ educational workshops address the unique needs for female athletes to create an environment which supports long-term health and success.
During the MOC’s ‘Women In Sport’ conference held in the capital Podgorica in March this year, Simonović gave an impassioned speech about ensuring “all female athletes receive the respect and the recognition they deserve”, and speaking of signing the Brighton plus Helsinki Declaration, Simonović said: “I’m proud of the significant participation, and indeed successes, by Montenegrin women in international sports competitions, however I acknowledge there is still work to do to ensure all female participants are protected from discrimination and barriers to inclusion. This is a priority for us, and signing the Declaration highlights the work we have already done, along with our commitment to continue to push for gender equality within sport.”
Lisa O’Keefe, Secretary of the IWG, said: “It’s been fascinating listening to representatives from the MOC update us on the fantastic work they’re doing to promote gender equality within their country, and I’m pleased the IWG can add them to our list of signatories. Their commitment and ambition are to be applauded, and we look forward to working with them over the coming months to share their approach and learning.”
Annamarie Phelps CBE OLY, Chair of the EOC Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) Commission and Co-Chair of the IWG, said: “I am thrilled to see the Montenegrin Olympic Committee join the list of signatories of the IWG Brighton plus Helsinki Declaration. My sincere thanks to President Simonović for making this public commitment to continue the organisation’s work to address the gender imbalance in sport. It is a key priority for the European Olympic Family, and a step towards making Europe the most equitable, inclusive and sustainable continent for sport.”