Volleyball Family continues to champion women on and off the court

FIVB celebrates International Women’s Day 2023 and reiterates its commitment to gender equality

On this year’s International Women’s Day, the FIVB is celebrating women at every level of the sport, from the athletes who inspire women and girls across the globe through sporting excellence, to those governing volleyball who are serving as role models for future leaders of the sport.

On and off the court, the FIVB strives to ensure gender equality in volleyball. Across all major competitions, in both volleyball and beach volleyball, women and men play on a level playing field. Match formats are the same and equal prize money is ensured at all international events as a reflection of how equal value is placed on both the women’s and men’s game. This equality is also reflected across the sport’s 800 million fans worldwide, with Nielsen consumer research finding that the women’s and men’s volleyball are equally popular.

Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Ramos celebrate becoming beach volleyball World Champions in Rome 2022

Through its revolutionary Volleyball Empowerment and development programmes, the FIVB continues to invest equally in the development of both women’s and men’s national volleyball and beach volleyball teams worldwide.

The Kenya women’s national volleyball team celebrating their win against Cameroon at the FIVB Volleyball World Championship 2022 following a high-performance Volleyball Empowerment pilot project

The FIVB is also committed to ensuring that the gender balance inherent in volleyball is reflected in the administration and governance of the sport. Last year, the 38th FIVB World Congress approved changes to the Constitution such as the requirement for each Continental Confederation to ensure that there is at least one Board member from each gender. This will guarantee greater gender representation across all regions and a minimum of eight women on the FIVB Board of Administration.

Meanwhile, two of the FIVB’s five Continental Confederations, the Asian Volleyball Confederation and African Volleyball Confederation, are led by women – President Rita Subowo and President Bouchra Hajij.

Madelein Meppelink, FIVB Athletes’ Commission President and Board of Administration member, in action at Tokyo 2020

In addition, the FIVB Athletes’ Commission is both gender- and discipline-balanced as the FIVB continues to make progress in strengthening the voice of its players and supporting equal representation. As the President of the Athletes’ Commission, Madelein Meppelink, also serves as a Board member with the same rights and obligations as other members.

Athletes’ Commission President Madelein Meppelink said:

“I am fortunate to play a sport where women are celebrated equally and the work we put into the sport is recognised and rewarded at the same level. There is a growing recognition that volleyball must use its platform to promote gender equality, and I am proud that the FIVB is embracing this responsibility. Working together, the athletes and the FIVB can leverage the power of the sport to break down harmful gender stereotypes and inspire women and girls around the world to play sport.”

FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° said:

“The incredible women of the global Volleyball Family inspire us every day and serve as strong role models. Gender balance is inherent in the sport of volleyball, and the FIVB is committed to amplifying this powerful message by ensuring this is reflected in the governance of our sport. We will continue to take steps to improve representation at Board level to ensure that our sport is benefitting from the power of gender diversity in its governance.”