Hyderabad: Hyderabad tennis ace Sania Mirza was on Tuesday appointed the Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia by UN Women, the United Nations’ organisation dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Sania has, in the past, championed women’s equality and empowerment and on Tuesday, she reiterated the fact that women in sports face a difficult time.
“It is difficult being Sania Mirza in this country,” the tennis superstar said, speaking about the difficulties she faced during her career. I think a lot of controversy that I had faced in my career was because I am a woman. Had I been a man, I could have avoided some of it.”
The first South Asian woman to be accorded the responsibility, Sania said: “Gender equality is something we all advocate. Some speak about it, some don’t. I have chosen to speak about it. I hope that one day, everyone will say that we are equal and women are not treated as objects. I will try and do everything I can to bring about a change.”
Sania said sports plays a vital role in this issue. “Gender equality in sports, and using sports to advocate gender equality in different communities is essential. Equality depends on everyone of us — on the government that changes its laws, the company that advances equal pay and equal opportunity, the parents who teach their children that all human beings should be treated equally and the athletes who demonstrate equality and excellence,” the multiple Grand Slam-winner said.
“For more women to come into sports (in India), the culture needs to change. The government is getting more involved now, and that is going to change a lot of things.”
Calling Sania’s appointment a moment of pride for the country, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal underlined the government’s commitment towards women’s empowerment.
“As the custodians of the nation, the government’s constant endeavor will be provide the right opportunities and environment so that other girls can emulate Sania’s success and bring glory to the country.”Sania joins the likes of English actress Emma Watson and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman....