UN Women’s “Sports For Generation Equality” Initiative Has the International Table Tennis Federation as a Participant

In front of UN Women delegates in the Republic of Korea, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) formally committed to implementing the Sports for Generation Equality project. The Sports for Generation Equality worldwide effort, spearheaded by UN Women, aims to create a strong multi-stakeholder coalition to transform gender equality into a reality in and via sport.

In a meeting with UN Women on February 22, 2024, ITTF signed the Letter of Commitment. The ITTF Summit 2024 was held in conjunction with the 2024 Table Tennis World Championship Finals in Busan, Republic of Korea. The federation agreed to working cooperatively with the Sports for Generation Equality Principles and promised to support their implementation by signing the Letter.Petra Sörling, the first female president of the ITTF and a member of the International Olympic Committee, explained the importance of this step by saying, “Signing this framework is a pivotal moment for us.” It offers a framework for gauging our advancement in the fight for greater gender parity. Even though we are proud that since 2008, the prize money has remained the same, there is still much work to be done and areas that require improvement. We support women in all areas of our organization—coaches, match officials, staff, elected officials, and players, to name just a few. This dedication acts as our motivation to keep improving.

Jeongshim Lee, Director of the UN Women Centre of Excellence for Gender Equality in the Republic of Korea (Centre), congratulated the ITTF on signing the framework, praised Sörling’s leadership, and stated her optimism for continued cooperation with ITTF. “I think the ITTF can serve as a model for the Sports for Generation Equality Initiative and encourage other federations to support the initiative,” Lee expressed to Sörling.In addition to hosting the “Sustainability and Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (GEDI)” session in advance of the signing meeting, ITTF also asked UN Women to speak at the event and discussed its GEDI Action Plan.Throughout her speech, Lee underlined how crucial it is for the sports community to break down barriers against women and girls and to empower them in the realm of athletics and beyond. Furthermore, Ahjung Lee, the Center’s External Relations Specialist, stressed the need of having males on board as supporters, saying, “Gender equality is not just for women.” This applies to both genders, as well as children and adults. Everybody has a role to play, she said.

The agreement establishes the framework for UN Women and ITTF’s future cooperation, which will focus on utilizing sports’ power to promote gender equality both within and outside of athletic venues.

ITTF created and published its Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion (GEDI) Action Plan 2025 last year, adhering to the guidelines provided by UN Women for Gender-Responsive Sports Organizations and the framework itself. The strategy outlines how the federation will carry out the effort and tracks its implementation’s advancement.