How IBA is ensuring gender balance
December 12, 2023
The IBA Ordinary Congress concluded last week in Dubai where 170 National Federation members made their voices heard. SwissBoxing was welcomed back following its resignation from IBA under new leadership, a direction that was then reversed at their last General Assembly. Granted provisional membership by IBA before the Congress, members supported their return by a majority of vote.
In addition, the US Boxing Federation, a new organization led by legendary Roy Jones Jr was formed following the disaffiliation of USA Boxing. Oceania gained two new members as the Norfolk Island Boxing Association and Tuvalu Amateur Boxing Association were accepted.
Meanwhile, three organizations had their memberships terminated by the Congress, as the Czech Boxing Association’s, German Boxing Association’s and Dutch Boxing Federation’s termination was approved.
IBA under Umar Kremliv, President of the IBA who completes 3 years today has ensured positive conditions for athletes including huge prize money, high competition standards, help to National Federations via Financial Support Program and equipment support. IBA has further made significant strides towards achieving gender equality in the sport of boxing and has been working hard to ensure that women boxers receive the same level of recognition and support as their men counterparts. Now gender equality is written in Constitution where the Board should have minimum 5 women representatives from each continent and it is in place.
Tereza Atilio Lual, President of the Boxing Association, Republic of South Sudan said: “I am very impressed with IBA. They want to bring gender balance within the organisation and boxing community globally. A few years ago, I was the only female president from the Africa region and now we have more female presidents. Some people think that boxing is only for men but that it not the truth. The association is further empowering girls and training them to be more self-reliant and financially independent.”
Projects that the Women’s Committee had launched already last year included: the IBA Women’s Boxing Questionnaire; the appointment of five IBA Confederation Women Ambassadors; the creation of Outstanding Women in Boxing Awards; the development of the Women Coaches Manual, the Women’s Community of Practice and “Invisible to Visible” project which highlights prominent women involved in boxing.
Wissam Zoubida, a member of the African Boxing Confederation further added: “IBA has introduced good policies to include women representation within the federation. To speak about my Moroccon organisation, for the first time we have a world champion Khadija El-Mardi and we have several women silver medalists as well. Because of this positive picture of boxing, the number of women participating in boxing has increased a lot. Boxing provides a lot of confidence to these women and my hope is for more women to take up boxing.”
At the global forum, Dutch-born boxer and IBA Champions’ Night winner Megan de Cler shared her story of how after being banned by the Dutch boxing organisation, how IBA is supporting her through its Financial Support Program (FSP) to help her achieve her dream of bagging a gold medal at the Olympics.
IBA Board of Directors Members Marta Forcen Celaya reinforced that inclusivity and gender balance are the priority of IBA. She said: “The development of women in Spain is super important to us. We must achieve gender parity. At IBA on the board of directors, for example, we are 50% women and 50% men, and this is true that it gives the impetus to be able to develop all women in the field, not only in sports.”
IBA further announced a $5 million prize money for the women’s world championship. Also, superstar fighters Conor McGregor and Petr Yan had a staredown officiated by IBA President Umar Kremlev.