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IWD: France rallies support for female athletes ahead of Paris Olympics

The Embassy of France in Nigeria on Wednesday held a digital exhibition in support of women in sports as part of activities to mark the…

The Embassy of France in Nigeria on Wednesday held a digital exhibition in support of women in sports as part of activities to mark the 2024 International Women’s Day.

The digital exhibition which was held at the Discovery Museum in Abuja was themed: “Sports and Women’s body”.

It featured the works of Tiolu Yoloye and Babalola Oluwafemi who creatively explored the theme of women in sports, bringing diverse perspectives and artistic styles to the exhibition, enriching the dialogue surrounding gender equality, bodies and sports.

Mr Jean-Francois Hasperue, Chargé d’Affaires of France to Nigeria and ECOWAS, while speaking, said the event is aimed at beaming the spotlight on women in sports and the challenges they go through ahead of the summer Olympics in Paris.

He said: “Today, we celebrate the strengths, resilience and determination that really defined women athletes in various disciplines. And we will try to challenge stereotypes, break records and pave the way for future generations.

“As we embark on this digital journey, just in a few minutes, we’ll be able to reflect on the progress that can be made and recognize the road that lies ahead. And I hope really this exhibition, as conceived by the artist and our team and the Discovery Museum of Abuja will inspire not only conversation but promote inclusion and serve as a catalyst for change in the way we perceive, celebrate and support the women in the world.

“I will take this opportunity to salute all the women who are working in the field of sport, the athletes themselves and all the ones who are working to support what they are doing and to support their journey to the Olympic Games.”

Speaking about the theme of the exhibition and her work, Yoloye said women pass through numerous challenges while participating in sports, unlike their male counterparts.

She listed issues women go through in sports including hormonal changes, menstruation, and pregnancy, among others which affect their performances.

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One of Tiolu Yoloye’s works

“ACL tears are quite common, but women tend to experience more than men and this is because of changes in health cases. Like you know, athletes getting pregnant. And then they have to pause their careers and most times they don’t even get paid during their maternity leaves,” she said.

“So I named this collection “Try it” because these women have taken not only steps, they’ve taken huge steps to continue their careers,” Yoloye said.

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