Media Advisory: Muaythai to End Violence against Women
Date: Monday, April 21, 2014
(Bangkok) UN Women and the International Muaythai Federations are joining forces in a new partnership to that will work with young people around the world to promote gender equality, challenge harmful ideas of masculinities and end violence against women.
What: Press Conference to launch a partnership between UN Women, the World Muaythai Council (WMC) and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) to end violence against women
When: 13:30-15:00hrs, 25 April 2014
Where: Sport Authority of Thailand, The Kings Building, 25th Floor, 7th Cycle Majesty, Huamark, Bangkapi, Bangkok
Why: Violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive violations of human rights. It exists in every country and is deeply rooted in gender inequitable norms and harmful ideas linked to what it means to be a man. Ending this violence requires nothing short of a transformation of social norms and attitudes. Muaythai, a sport steeped in culture and tradition, is a powerful vehicle that teaches respect, dignity and fairness and can help steer youths away from harmful ideas of masculinities and while actively engaging men and boys to reject violence against women. Therefore, UN Women, WMC and IFMA have entered into a new and unique partnership to end violence against women, which leverages UN Women’s mandate and expertise on gender equality and addressing violence against women and WMC/IFMA’s outreach, particularly to youth and men, on developing character and life-skills training through sports. The partnership is in support of the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign. Through the partnership, youths will learn how to knock out harmful ideas of masculinities, Muaythai champions will be developed as advocates for change and the internal policies of WMC and IFMA will be strengthened to become a benchmark for how sports can end violence against women.
Background of Partnering Organizations:
The World Muaythai Council (WMC) and International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) are the world governing bodies for Professional Muaythai. The inauguration meeting was held in 1995 at the UN building in Bangkok. The International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) was set up in 1992 to achieve the highest possible sporting recognition for Muaythai on the amateur level. Muaythai is now recognised by SportAccord, International World Games Association and Olympic Council Asia. There are 128 National Federations recognised by the highest sporting authority and all National Olympic Committees work together under the same rules, regulations, mission and vision. Muaythai is focussed on the development of our youth as tomorrow’s leaders in sport and more importantly as citizens of the world. Values of respect and honor, the protection of Muaythai as a cultural art form and sport, integrity and ethics, fairplay both in and out of the ring and gender equality are all important keystones of Muaythai. Their common mandate is to support the expansion of Muaythai worldwide, which involves supporting youth and athletes to learn the skills of Muaythai as a cultural art form and well as a form of self-defence and a popular ring-sport. More information can be found at www.wmcmuaythai.org and www.ifmamuaythai.org
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. Launched in 2008, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign is a UN system-wide initiative which aims to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world. UNiTE’s global vision is a world free from violence against all women and girls and the campaign works with governments, civil society, women’s organizations, men, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing this global pandemic. Through advocacy initiatives at the global, regional and national levels, the UNiTE campaign is working to mobilize individuals and communities, with a strong focus on actively engaging with men and boys and young people. More information can be found at asiapacific.unwomen.org and endviolence.un.org
The following representatives of partnering organizations are available for media interviews which can be organized upon request.
General Chetta Thanajaro is the President of WMC and a former defence minister, former commander of the Royal Thai Army, and the Honorary President of the Olympic Committee of Thailand.
Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan is the President of IFMA has been Vice President of the Olympic Committee of Thailand, Vice President of the International Amateur Boxing Association, and a member of the Sports Committee of Olympic Committee of Asia.
Stephan Fox is the General Secretary of IFMA, Vice-President of the WMC and is a former Muaythai World Champion.
Roberta Clarke is the Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the UN Women Representative in Thailand, and an International Human Rights lawyer.
WMC/IFMA: Hannah Mercieca +66849776638, firstname.lastname@example.org
UN Women: Pulin Milintachinda, +66815673552, email@example.com
- Press release: Muaythai going global in fight to End Violence against Women (embargoed until 25 April 2014)