In a historic first, six women now sit on the Badminton World Federation Council, following elections last Saturday.
This milestone equates to 23 per cent of the 26-seat Council being comprised of women, surpassing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation of at least 20 per cent representation by women on sports decision-making organisations.
It also increases by four the number of women on the BWF Council – up from two over the last four years.
The impressive line-up includes two IOC members, two world champions, two vice presidents of badminton continental confederations and the Chair of the BWF Athletes’ Commission. There are also two women from Africa, again underlining the growing interest in and stature of badminton on that continent.
The women Council members are (alphabetically; country): Dagmawit Girmay Berhane (Ethiopia; Vice President of Africa Confederation); Geraldine Brown (Australia; Vice President of Oceania Confederation); Li Lingwei (China), Emma Mason (Scotland; Athletes’ Commission Chair), Nora Perry (England) and Chipo Zumburani (Zimbabwe). The two continental vice-presidents as well as Mason automatically became BWF Council members before Saturday’s elections, by virtue of heading their respective organisations. Li, Perry and Zumburani were elected by delegates attending the BWF Council’s 74th Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Outgoing Chair of the Women in Badminton Commission (WIB), Nora Perry described the results as “beyond our expectations” and vowed the women “will continue to ensure there is equal opportunity for women in badminton”.
She thanked their male peers for the support and input they have given to initiatives by the WIB since its inception in 2011, especially the WIB Forum; the third of which was held last Sunday with all six female Council members participating.
Both outgoing BWF President Dr. Kang Young Joong and newly-elected BWF President Poul-Erik Hoyer saluted the achievement of a record number of seats now being held by women on the BWF Council. The latter has already appointed four of his women colleagues to either Committee Chair or Deputy Committee Chair positions on the BWF Council.
These are as follows:
Dagmawit Girmay Berhane – IOC/International Relations (IR) Deputy Chair
Geraldine Brown – Women in Badminton (WIB) Chair
Nora Perry – WIB Deputy Chair
Chipo Zumburani – Finance Deputy Chair
(* Emma Mason – BWF Athletes’ Commission Chair)
Featured image: (left to right): Nora Perry, Li Lingwei, Emma Mason, Dagmawit Girmay Berhane, Chipo Zumburani and Geraldine Brown – the six women Council members of the Badminton World Federation.