UNESCO and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Partnership

© UNESCO

In November 2006, UNESCO and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, the world’s leading global sport for women, established a landmark global partnership, in order to further gender equality and promote women’s leadership in all spheres of society.

The programme represents the first time that UNESCO, the only organization of the UN system with a mandate for education, science, culture, and communication and information, which are most critical for laying the grounds for gender equality, is partnering with a professional sports league for this objective. UNESCO, with a Division specifically devoted to the promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment, is committed to mainstreaming gender equality considerations in all its programmes, globally and at the country level.

The key components of the partnership include:

  • a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour/UNESCO Fund for women and leadership, with an initial endowment of approximately €200,000 as seed funding, aims to fund projects supporting women’s leadership and gender equality in different regions around the world.  Currently, projects have been chosen for a first round of funding in five countries: Cameroon, Jordan, Liberia, China and the Dominican Republic;
  • a “Promoter of Gender Equality” player programme, which involves players at both a global and national level in awareness raising activities as well as direct participation in specific gender equality and women’s leadership programmes throughout the world;
  • mentoring, scholarship and fellowship programmes designed to create opportunities and the environment for women and girls to succeed in all walks of life;
  • raising global awareness and fundraising through the use of existing UNESCO and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments, social events and conferences as platforms.

“We are thrilled to have found a partner in UNESCO that shares the goal of our players to achieve equality for women…. Our players are role models for women and girls throughout the world, and this program will provide a series of platforms on a global scale for our players, the Tour and our partners to raise awareness and funds to promote women's leadership."

- Larry Scott, former CEO, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

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