India’s most successful women’s tennis player appointed goodwill ambassador
Tennis star Sani Mirza has been appointed the United Nation’s Goodwill Ambassador for the South Asian region by UN Women in recognition of International Day To End Violence Against Women.
Mirza is India’s most successful women’s tennis player and the first Indian to break into the World Tennis Association’s top 50 rankings. Now a new record has been added to her resume as the first South Asian woman to be made a UN goodwill ambassador in the Organisation’s history.
“My role is a very important battle that I will fight off the tennis court for gender equality. Gender Equality is what I believe in,” the tennis star said. Her intention is to educate women on gender equality and tackle a cultural problem where she believes women feel they are second class citizens.
Mirza also stresses the government’s duty to make sports more women inclusive, she also acknowledges the need for sport’s ministers to support women.
“To that effect, there is an urgent need to change this mindset. Women must be made aware that they are equal to men.
“Equality depends on each and all of us. From the government that changes its laws, to the company that advances equal pay and equal opportunity, to the mother and father who teach their daughter and son that all human beings should be treated equally, to the athletes who demonstrate equality and excellence.
“It inspires me to work harder towards a level playing field for women. Gender equality in sports as well as using sports to advocate for gender equality in communities is essential,” she said.
Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said of Mirza’s new role, “Sania has been a role model for girls and women of India, and her appointment as UN Goodwill Ambassador is a moment of pride for the country.
“As the custodians of the nation, the government’s constant endeavour will be provide the right opportunities and environment so that other girls can emulate Sania’s success and bring glory to the country.”
According to statistics by the UN on gender violence in India, 6 out of 10 men have admitted inflicting violence against their wife or partner in various forms. There is even a national average of 919 females for 1,000 males.
UN Women released a statement, “She has been a role model to many children, including girls to break barriers and strive for their goals in life and career choices. She has used the spotlight on her professional success to highlight social issues that are of concern for many Indians, speaking out on issues such as the need to halt the practice of female foeticide and the decreasing sex ratio in India.”