Hosted by Georgia, the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 saw its participating teams and the World Rugby Organization declare their support for HeForShe, the UN Women solidarity movement for gender equality.
The event, which took place at the premises of the National Archives of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, served as a venue to affirm the partnership between UN Women and World Rugby within the framework of the championship. In her welcoming speech, Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia, thanked the Georgian Rugby Union, which was one of the first supporters of HeForShe in Georgia: “We would like to extend special thanks to them for their initiative, within the framework of which the Georgian rugby players met with 500 children in 19 villages and spoke to them about equality between girls and boys, women and men, and about the importance of non-violent behaviour. Today’s initiative is taking place under the auspices of the World Rugby U20 Championship.”
Davit Sergeenko, Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, spoke about the significance of having tight cooperation with UN Women. He also emphasized the ongoing cooperation between UN Women and the rugby community: “Today’s event is an affirmation of this cooperation. I am happy that this partnership is truly effective and not a symbolic one.”
Gocha Svanidze, President of the Rugby Union, also addressed the guests attending the event and thanked Mrs. Kvapilova for UN Women’s trust: “We, the rugby players, are not just supporters of this campaign. It is a lifestyle that we will always have.”