Thu, 20 Jan 2022

JAKARTA - Women in sports had emerged as one of the key areas of sports cooperation, according to Leader of the Asean Plus Japan Senior Officials Meeting on Sports (SOMS+Japan) Tomohiko Arai.

"Under the Asean and Japan Cooperation, women in sports appear as one of the key areas of sports cooperation," Tomohiko Arai, who is concurrently director of the International Affairs Division at the Japan Sports Agency, noted in a statement here on Monday.

The statement was delivered by Arai, who opened the Asean #WeScore Talk Show held by the Asean Secretariat on December 3.

The Asean Secretariat hosted the hybrid event in Jakarta, with the 10 appointed Asean Women in Sports Ambassadors participating virtually to speak on gender equality in and through sports.

He acknowledged the progress made in promoting gender equality through discussions and exchange of perspectives.

Further, he noted that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will take steps for a gender-equal society through sports.

Meanwhile, Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Sports and Health Science at Juntendo University Aya Noguchi reported on the outcomes of the Asean-Japan Workshop on Promoting Gender Equality in Sports held on Aug. 10-13, 2021, by the Japanese Center for Research on Women in Sport.

Noguchi noted that the workshop delivered a set of country-specific actionable strategies to promote the participation of women and girls in sports as well as to empower young women through sports and foster the next generation of young leaders.

Meanwhile, UN Women Indonesia Representative and Liaison to Asean Jamshed M. Kazi took part in the conversation as a commentator, giving expert advice on gender equality and women's rights.

Coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Asean #WeScore Talk Show also highlighted the rights of persons with disabilities.

Tokyo 2020 Gold and Silver Paralympic Medallist from Indonesia, para-badminton athlete Leani Ratri Oktila, expressed her gratitude for the annual commemoration.

"I feel appreciated as a paralympic athlete," she noted.

She, however, expressed concerns over the cancellation of para sporting events due to the Covid-19 situation, while some non-para sports competitions continued.

The event concluded with closing remarks by Deputy Secretary-General of Asean for the Asean Socio-Cultural Community, Ekkaphab Phanthavong.

Phanthavong emphasized that people should start paying attention to women's leadership and career paths in sports institutions as well as their safety and protection.

The talk show was also attended by Princess 'Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah, a polo athlete from Brunei Darussalam; Sokha Pov, traditional martial arts athlete from Cambodia; Soulamphone Kerdla, the 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 foil fencer; Panikpak Wongpattanakit, Thailand's taekwondo athlete; and Tuyet Van Chau, taekwondo athlete from Vietnam. (Antara)

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