CWG Delhi 2010 to encourage greater participation of women in sports

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New Delhi, May 11, 2010: To achieve greater participation, gender equality, and to address all women related matters during the Commonwealth Games time and beyond, the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi (OC CWG Delhi 2010) on Tuesday held its first Women Sub-committee meeting.

Presided by its chairperson Sara Pilot and Laura Prabhu, Convener, the meet was attended by the OC CWG Delhi 2010 Chairman Suresh Kalmadi MP and members of the sub-committee including prominent women personalities from different walks of life.

Speaking on this occasion Kalmadi said that 40 percent of the workforce in the OC CWG Delhi 2010 is women, a fact that reflects our commitment to give equal participation to them.

As half of the 8,000 athletes coming to participate in the Games are women, Kalmadi said they would be accommodated in the Games Village.

"I propose to have a woman as the Deputy Mayor of the Village so that women issues can be taken care of in a better way," he said.

The sub-committee proposed Air Marshall (Retd.) Ms. Padma Bandhopadhyay to be the Deputy Mayor of the Games Village.

Kalmadi also suggested to the sub- committee to ensure greater participation of women in the Domestic Sector of the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi and other functionalities of the Games like hospitality.

Sub- committee's Chairperson Ms. Sara Pilot, on this occasion, gave the slogan of "voice, choice, freedom and rights for women" and stated that a national-level impetus needs to be created for women-related issues.

Gul Panag, actress and a member of the sub-committee, said: "We need activism in this matter. We already have many constitutional articles that legally bind the government to ensure gender equality."

All members opined that sports are a big tool to empower women and said that there was a need to empower women in sports itself. Commonwealth Games are a platform giving the country an opportunity to enhance visibility of sports and women.

The sub-committee agreed that upcoming Commonwealth Games is the immediate goal and a launch pad to boost women's participation in sports. It can help to create public awareness in the entire system to spot and nurture the talent at an early age and promoting Olympic sports in the country in general.

Members also suggested to set up a Women Help-desk in the Games Village, training volunteers and workforce in a gender sensitive way and enhancing female viewership of the Games.

The eminent Sub-committee members present in the meeting included Ms. Sayeda Hamid (Member, Planning Commission), Ms. Jyoti Suri (President, lalit Group), Ms. Indu Puri (Arjuna Awardee, table Tennis Champion), Ms. Abha Sehgal (Principal, Sanskriti School), Shobhana Bhartia (Hindustan Times), Ms. Barkha Dutt (NDTV), Ms. Tanya Chaitanya (Editor, Femina), Ms. Nisha Agarwal (CEO Oxfam), Mr. Ravi Verma (Regional Director, ICRW) and Ms. Kanta Singh (Women Power Connect). (ANI)

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