Building on the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games, ASEAN appointed ten prominent athletes and sports officials as ASEAN Women in Sports Ambassadors. The ambassadors will use their influence to promote gender equality and women empowerment through sports, across the region and spread encouraging messages to the ASEAN Community. This initiative is part of the Japan-funded ASEAN #WeScore Campaign.

The appointed ASEAN Women in Sports Ambassadors are HRH Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah (polo athlete from Brunei Darussalam), Sokha Pov (traditional martial arts athlete from Cambodia), Leani Ratri Oktila (Indonesian para-badminton athlete), Soulamphone Kerdla (head coach of Lao PDR’s national swimming team), Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (Malaysian gymnast), Soe Soe Myar (Myanmar taekwondo athlete and referee), Hidilyn Diaz (Filipino weightlifter), Amita Berthier (Singaporean fencer), Panikpak Wongpattanakit (Thailand’s taekwondo athlete) and Tuyet Van Chau (Vietnamese taekwondo athlete).

They will share their views on women empowerment in an upcoming talk show to be held at the ASEAN Secretariat on December 3, which coincides with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence annual campaign. The talk show will touch on issues such as gender equality and women’s leadership, safeguarding of women and girls in sports, promoting the rights of persons with disabilities through sports, as well as the impacts of COVID-19 on sports and how to address it.

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Ekkaphab Phanthavong, along with Director Tomohiko Arai (International Affairs Division Japan Sports Agency SOMS Leader), Assistant Professor Aya Noguchi (Juntendo University’s Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences), and Jamshed M. Kazi (UN Women Country Representative, Indonesia and Liaison to ASEAN) will take part in the event.

ASEAN #WeScore campaign forms part of the ASEAN-Japan Actions on Sports, a project under the ASEAN Plus Japan Senior Officials Meeting on Sports (SOMS+Japan) funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund. Prior to the talk show, the ASEAN Secretariat will hold a Tribute to Tokyo 2020 ASEAN Olympic and Paralympic Medallists.

ASEAN #WeScore Campaign contributes to the implementation of ASEAN Work Plan on Sports 2021-2025 and is in line with ASEAN Vision 2025 and the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 5: Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering All Women and Girls.(*)


About ASEAN-Japan Cooperation on Sports 

ASEAN and Japan established the ASEAN-Japan Cooperation on Sports at the first ASEAN Plus Japan Ministerial Meeting on Sports (1st AMMS+Japan) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in 2017. Sharing the same concerns on gender equality in sports, the ASEAN-Japan Cooperation agreed on developing the ASEAN-Japan Actions on Sports. The project’s main purpose is to promote women’s and girls’ participation in sports, including female athletes, coaches, and female leaders in sports organisations.

The first activity, “ASEAN-Japan Workshop on Promoting Gender Equality in Sports,” took place on 10 -13 August 2021. It was hosted by the Japanese Centre for Research on Women in Sport of Juntendo University, through collaboration with Japan Sports Agency, ASEAN Secretariat and UN Women. The four-day online workshop featured 60 sports professionals and youth from 10 ASEAN Member States, Japan and ASEAN Secretariat.

Through this event, ASEAN and Japan hope to strengthen their cooperation by promoting gender equality in and through sports, as well as to empower women and girls in ASEAN Member States through life skills and leadership training in sports.


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