10 May 2019

Staged in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday 12th April, 50 delegates met for the fourth International Federations Gender Equality Forum; proceedings being organised by the International Olympic Committee in partnership with the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations and the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations.

Continental Development Manager, in charge of the ITTF Women’s Development Programme, Katarzyna Kubas represented the International Table Tennis Federation.

Katarzyna Kubas reports

The six main topics discussed during the Forum were governance, mechanisms to increase the pipeline of women for decision-making positions, funding allocations, coaches and technical officials at Olympic Games, tracking and monitoring progress and, last but not least, collaboration between International Federations, National Associations and National Olympic Committees.

Table discussions provided a great platform to participants for exchanging experiences, sharing challenges and solutions as well as brainstorming about best practices in the effective implementation of Gender Equality, which aims to bring positive change in their respective Federations.

In addition to working sessions, the International Olympic Committee updated the delegates on the status of implementation of the Gender Equality Recommendations introduced last year during the third International Federation’s Gender Equality Forum and presented the outcome of the Gender Equality survey conducted at the end of 2018, which explains how International Federations are progressing on gender equality. The main common challenge found for International Federations is still a shortage of females involved in leadership positions.

Kit McConnell, IOC Sports Director (left) with (right) Katarzyna Kubas (Photo: Katarzyna Kubas)


Participants had a chance to listen to Beth Brooke Marciniak, United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors member and Global Vice Chair at Ernst and Young, who together with Marisol Casado, IOC Member and President of the International Triathlon Union discussed the importance of strengthening Gender Equality across the Olympic Movement and shared her experience highlighting sport’s contribution to gender equality globally.

“Women are the third billion emerging market after China and India.” Beth Brooke Marciniak

The Forum was not only a fantastic occasion to gather and link International Federation representatives with a common goal which is to uplift and strengthen Gender Equality within their Federations but also to empower and inspire its participants in order to make a positive difference together in the area of Gender Equality. Being a part of this Forum assured me of how important it is to spread awareness about gender balance and value the role of women in sport.

I am pleased to say that we are currently revamping the Women’s Development Programme within the International Table Tennis Federation with the aim to provide an improvement in this area.

The setting in Lausanne (Photo: Katarzyna Kubas)
High Performance and Development Administration Katarzyna Kubas