Nawal El Moutawakel - Hurdles only strengthen her track
She continued to wade through a sea of disapproval as she organized the first Moroccan women’s five-kilometre race in Casablanca in 1993, using sports to energize and inspire women to follow in her footsteps. But the idea took root and the event has been held every year since its initiation and attracts more than 20,000 participants annually.
She followed up her win serving as the first Minister of Sports in Morocco. Today she holds several prestigious posts as a member of the Executive Board and Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee and the President of the Coordination Commission of the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
Her passion for sports is matched by her fervor for women’s rights, and she not only promotes girl’s literacy and education, but also encourages Moroccan women to get involved in leadership and decision-making through governmental work, and to support human rights for women and girls with HIV and AIDS. In recognition of her life-long advocacy work, she served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2009 and the UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals in 2011.
“My dream and my call is to see the world of sport with boys and girls achieving performances through the same equal opportunities.”