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FIBA creating a safe, inclusive and sharing environment for females

GOLD COAST (Australia) - Creating safe and inclusive environments for females is a crucial step towards achieving gender equality and empowering women. However, creating such spaces can sometimes be challenging.

To address these challenges, it is essential to build strategies that focus on developing role models and ambassadors to deliver key messaging and to manage challenging social issues locally. These are some of the key areas FIBA’s regional office in Oceania are targeting through the Women in Basketball Strategic Priority.

One of the critical elements of creating safe and inclusive spaces for females is developing role models that can inspire and motivate women to take charge of their lives and become agents of change.

Female role models in basketball have taken on the challenges as community leaders and professionals to illustrate that seeing something can inspire others to be something.

Such is the case of Emma Waiwai, who has recently taken on the role of Interim President of the Basketball Federation of PNG. As a community leader and respected member of the basketball community Emma has filled the recently vacated Presidential role from inspirational PNG Basketball leader Karo Lelai.

Waiwai had seen first-hand from her playing, coaching and administration roles the right support required to succeed and hopes her story and her leadership will inspire other females to be inspired to make a difference in their areas of influence.

So too, Teimiri Hunter from Tahiti, who has recently been awarded the Volunteer of the Year by the French Polynesian Olympic Committee. Hunter is a FIBA WiLead graduate and is always striving to improve basketball and her passion is increasing opportunities for women.

By sharing their stories and experiences, role models can help young women and girls envision themselves as leaders and change-makers and encourage them to pursue their dreams and aspirations.

A further key strategy FIBA uses to inspire females is make use of Ambassadors to deliver key messaging. These Ambassadors are individuals who are respected and trusted within a community and include many national team players sharing their path to international competition. The Ambassadors use their influence and credibility to promote messages of gender equality, non-discrimination, and respect for women's rights. They also provide support and guidance to women who are facing challenges or obstacles in their lives.

FIBA has identified the impact females are making in the development of basketball and in Oceania is supporting female engagement officers thanks to the TeamUp program in the region. These engagement officers will be directly responsible for the implementation of activities that fall within the global Women in Basketball Strategy. Such activities include Her World Her Rules, Mum’s a Hero, I’maGIRL, Mi Pikinini Meri, and WiLead.

Creating safe and inclusive spaces for females requires a multi-faceted approach that focuses on developing role models and ambassadors, using targeted messaging, and engaging with local communities and stakeholders. FIBA recognizes this and is working through its members to create an environment that attracts females to all roles at all levels of basketball.

To celebrate International Women's Day, FIBA Oceania invites you to share a post on the following link to honor the women who inspired you!