We use cookies

By continuing to browse ihf.info, you agree to our terms of use , privacy policy and the use of cookies. For more information, please review our cookie policy.



Date: 3/8/2019

International Women’s Day, Friday March 8, is a day of celebration and reflection – a celebration of the achievements of women, and a time to reflect on how much is still to be done to accomplish equality. In 2019, the theme is balance, with the campaign hashtag #BalanceForBetter. 


“International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate diversity, and to reaffirm that equality matters, not only today, but every single day of the year. It’s also a chance to honestly reflect on a reality: equality may be our goal, but it is far from our reality,” says 2013 world champion and 2016 Champions League winner Mayssa Pessoa.


“It is very important in sport, because there we can see the difference between women and men. We are trying to change this, but we have a lot of work to do, and in all competitions we can really see the difference.”


For many female handball players, the development of their competitions and international championships is a crucial aspect of achieving equality within the sport. This sentiment is echoed by 2012 Olympic silver medallists and European champion Jovanka Radicevic:


“For me, in every sport, women are lionesses and fighters. I think that we deserve more attention to handball, and that there could be a little higher level of women’s handball – at least, in some way, to approach [the level of] men,” says the Montenegro national team captain.


“We are working on it and for sure, we women will fight to have all the same, but is not so easy,” says Pessoa. “We need all of us to be together.”


While women’s achievements and the continued quest for equality are certainly worth marking with a day celebrated around the world, these goals should not be forgotten in the remainder of the year.


“For me personally, March 8th is like every other day. Generally, women should have attention and respect every day – and not just 8th March,” says Radicevic.


Get involved with the UN’s #WomenInSport campaign


This year, the United Nations have shown the importance of sport in achieving gender equality by introducing the #WomenInSport campaign on March 7, when they announced new Goodwill Ambassador, Brazilian footballer and Olympian, Marta. The UN challenges everyone to share an athlete they believe deserves to be in the spotlight, using the hashtags #WomensDay and #WomenInSport.


The International Olympic Committee are not limiting their celebrations of women in sport to just one day, but the whole month. “The IOC is celebrating the spotlight that the Olympic Games and sport globally offer to advancing gender equality and portraying inspirational women and girls in sport,” says a statement from the IOC. “Join the conversation and increase its momentum to have better gender balance beyond the field of play, for a better sports world.”


Part of the IOC celebrations includes the IOC Women and Sport Awards Ceremony in New York on March 19, in partnership with UN Women.