BAKU, 14 April 2018 – Some 20 representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Azerbaijan and 10 female players from Azerbaijani national football team (U19) have played today a friendly football match to support gender equality in the country. They played in uniforms highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals and the hashtag #playforequity.
The United Nations (UN), Azerbaijan Football Federations Association (AFFA), Head of Missions’ Spouses (HOMS) and embassy of Mexico initiated and organized this event with support of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan Republic.
“Sport has a huge potential to empower women and girls and to provide them with life skills and opportunities,” Ghulam Isaczai, the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, said in his opening speech. “The United Nations will continue its cooperation with the Azerbaijani authorities and civil society in efforts to empower girls and women.”
“The practice of physical education and sport is a fundamental right for all,” reads article 1 of UNESCO’s International Charter of Physical Education and Sport. The young female football players, who joined today’s initiative, have demonstrated physical strength and leadership skills by being on the field and promoting gender equality in a professional capacity.
Azerbaijan is a home country for a number of world-famous women athletes, such as Mariya Stadnik, a three-time Olympic medalist in wrestling; Zemfira Meftahatdinova, a winner of two Olympic medals in skeet; Patimat Abakarova, a winner of bronze Olympic medal in wrestling; and Farida Azizova, a bronze medalist of European Championship and silver medalist of First European Games.