A new partnership between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and ESPN’s John Skipper has been set forth in hopes of empowering women and girls globally through sports and mentorship.
At the Department of State at Washington DC on June 21, Clinton announced the Global Sports Mentoring Program, under the “Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports” initiative, which is encouraging female participation in athletics in order to "experience the benefits of participation: improved health, greater self-esteem, and greater academic success."
"Our goal is to identify women worldwide who are emerging leaders in sports: coaches, managers, administrators, sports journalists, marketers, and then match them with American women who are the top leaders in these fields," said Clinton at a news conference, who hopes that these leaders can further nurture the next generation of girls in athletics. Skipper adds that the initiative is supported by ESPN’s belief of sports improving lives.
Through the initiative, the State Department is sending women leaders to speak to and inspire young women around the world, while bringing visitors interested in athletics to the United States for a similar purpose, hoping to ultimately break cultural, racial, and gender barriers.
At the conference, Clinton cited the UN’s study that “girls worldwide who play sports are more likely to attend and stay in school, more likely to finish their education, more likely to be in better health and to earn higher wages during the course of their lives.”
To carry out the initiative, the State Department has created a Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports, made up by soccer star Mia Hamm, basketball player Tamika Catchings, champion figure skater Michelle Kwan, and a number of other celebrated women in sports.