LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
TAMPA/NEW YORK, Sept 22: IOC Executive Board member Nawal El Moutawakel was speaking out at the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit being held in New York to support of education for women.
The Olympian is also a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador and has dealt with many of her own trying experiences growing up in the ’60’s and ’70’s in Morocco. El Moutawakel is also the first Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal on the 400 meter hurdles and has even served her country as Minister of Sports.
Speaking to the UN News center today she said: “I personally lived these difficulties… access to education, women’s empowerment, environmental protection, improvement in health. I had experiences in all these fields linked to my personal life, to that of my country.”
“An educated woman is an educated family and an educated country since women represent more than half the population in most countries today. When women have no access to education all other (MDG) efforts are doomed to fail.
“Access to primary education is vital since it has a run-on impact on all other MDGs, it even determines the success and survival of some, like women’s empowerment.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held a roundtable discussion with other IOC Members Prince Albert of Monaco and Hungarian President Pal Schmitt to discuss the important value of sport working closely with the UN to strive to attain the MDG goals for 2015.