The UK bid included two major cities securing the role of hosting duties and we are pleased to be confirm that Birmingham and London will welcome delegates from around the world during the secretariat period.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I congratulate everyone involved in this bid – as in the past, the city has been able to put forward a compelling offer, underpinned by our world-class track record for staging major events and conferences. We look forward to offering a warm welcome to conference delegates and officials in 2026.”
“It’s fitting that this event is coming to Birmingham in the years after we are the Proud Host City for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – the first ever major multi-sport event to award more medals to women than men.”
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of West Midlands Growth Company, added: “We are honoured to have been selected to deliver an outstanding event for the International Working Group on Women & Sport World Conference in 2026. Throughout the bid process, the West Midlands Growth Company worked closely with partners across the business and events community and accommodation sector, leading a network of stakeholders who all shared an overwhelming support for the bid.
“The region’s sense of positivity and can-do attitude, coupled with its passion, ideas and enthusiasm can really make a difference. We all look forward to being part of a global event which will put Birmingham and the West Midlands in the spotlight, supporting employment, business skills and societal change.”
Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair, City of London Corporation: “The City of London Corporation is delighted to be working with the Sport and Recreation Alliance to welcome the International Working Group on Women & Sport to the UK from 2022 until 2026. As a key partner in the bid, we look forward to hosting a number of events in the City during this period and will use these opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to celebrating women in sport, as well as business.”
As part of securing the right to host, the University of Hertfordshire has been confirmed as the Secretariat Research Lead institution. They will support the IWG Secretariat in the collaborating and gathering of insight and will play a pivotal role in the communicating and sharing of content.
Professor Elizabeth Pike, Head of Sport, Health and Exercise at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “We are delighted that the International Working Group on Women and Sport will return to the UK, nearly three decades after the first world conference in Brighton. Women and girls’ participation in sport and physical activity has been significantly affected by the global pandemic, and there is much to be done to harness the power of sport as a driver for gender equality.
“As a lead partner in the UK’s bid to host the IWG, the University of Hertfordshire will support the systemic change that is required to create a world where women and girls play a full and equitable part at all levels, particularly at this pivotal time, building on the institution’s long-standing commitment to gender equality in sport.”