Ambassador Elisabeth Millard
U.S. Senior Adviser for European Affairs
New York, New York
October 3, 2023
Thank you. I’m going to focus on sports today. Sports programs can help remove impediments to the equal treatment of all women and girls – including transgender women – discourage discrimination, and help reduce sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and other forms of gender-based violence. My country has long valued the active participation of women and girls in sports to strengthen inclusivity and advance gender equity and equality.
According to UN Women, “Sport … unites across national barriers and cultural differences; teaches women and girls the values of teamwork, self-reliance and resilience; has a multiplier effect on their health, education and leadership development; contributes to self-esteem; builds social connections; and challenges harmful gender norms.” My country firmly agrees.
In July, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the U.S. Department of State will work with the United States Soccer Federation to boost shared peace and prosperity worldwide, with a focus on increasing educational access, economic equity, and social opportunity and inclusion for underserved groups, including youth, women, and persons with physical and intellectual disabilities around the globe.
Despite this progress, more work is needed to create equal opportunity and treatment for all persons in sports. All sports leaders must embrace their responsibilities as role models, uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms, and act as responsible trailblazers in the advancement of equality for all.