Today the women of muaythai all around the world mark International Women’s Day in the spirit of Fair Play and equal treatment for all.
IFMA has always encouraged women to participate in the sport of amateur muaythai – in the first instance as athletes, but also as referees, judges, coaches, administrators, and officials. Today girls and women compete at both the Youth World Championships and the World Championships every year.
Women jumped the ropes at The World Games in Wroclaw last year as muaythai made its debut at the games.
The IFMA executive board too welcomes women, with female presidents in countries including Portugal, The Philippines, Mexico – Elisa Salinas is also head of the Pan American Muaythai grouping – and Kyrgyzstan. Some have travelled from the frontlines of muaythai competition to their roles, others through a passion for helping young athletes blossom but all play a central role in modern muaythai.
Sue Glassey, a former athlete is now head of the Oceania Muaythai Federation and also of the IFMA Female Commission. She said: “It’s International Women’s Day every day for IFMA, but on the 8th of March we like to allow our members to show us what they do.
“We have been especially proud in the last year of the re-emergence of a women’s team in Iran, the growth of all-female sparring days around the world to encourage students of muaythai to try competition-style sport and the steady increase in the number of female referees. It’s vital for us that girls and women are visible in every area of our sport.”
Charissa Tynan, IFMA’s Sport Director said: “It has been very exciting to see women’s muaythai grow over the past few years. The girls divisions at the Youth Championships are dear to my heart, as that’s where we see the future of our sport. Seeing young girls with such enthusiasm for our sport is simply fantastic. And we are very happy to have so many female roles models on the official side, there is a place for everyone with a passion for our sport.”
Ms Tynan said IFMA’s partnership with global bodies including UN Women and on the HeforShe project have helped muaythai play a role in encouraging gender parity in sport. Later today she joins UN Women to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” in Bangkok.
Join us on the IFMA Female Commission Facebook page this week to meet more Wonder Women in muaythai!