The first regional Women in Motorsport seminar, organized by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) in partnership with the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, took place in Doha, Qatar this past week.
Almost 50 people from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region attended the seminar along with invited guests and speakers, providing the opportunity to discuss issues that affect women in motorsport, share knowledge and ideas, as well as identify new opportunities.
Milka Duno attended the meeting in Doha as a newly elected member of the FIA Women in Motorsports Commission.
Hosted by Nasser Khalifa Al Atya, QMMF President and FIA Vice President for Sport in the Middle East, and in the presence of FIA Deputy President for Sport Graham Stoker, and Women in Motorsport Commission President Michèle Mouton, the seminar was aimed at encouraging women to get involved in the sport both regionally and internationally.
Conclusions from the seminar identified the need to focus on four primary areas; research, training, education for all, communication and promotion. This includes assessing the true position of women in the sport today, encouraging their involvement from an early age, and improving the perception of women’s participation in motorsport.
Since its creation in 2009, the Women in Motorsport Commission has enlisted the support of national representatives from 52 countries around the world, all of whom have been designated by their National Sporting Authority (ASN) to liaise with the Commission and help implement actions and programs at a national level.
“To activate a taskforce in the MENA region, in all aspects and including women specifically, is my first challenge as Vice President for Sport in the region,” commented Nasser Khalifa Al Atya. “From this week’s seminar it is clear that the women present have a strong motivation to build a clear vision and they are passionate about achieving their goals. This is a big achievement for us and the Middle East and it’s important we move this forward in a proper way.”
“For over 100 years the FIA is proud that women have been a central part of motorsport,” commented Graham Stoker. “This heritage was recognized in 2009 with the establishment of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission. Now as a member of the IOC, the FIA continues to be determined to encourage and support the promotion of women in the sport in all areas in accordance with the IOC Charter.”
Summing up the success of the first regional Women in Motorsport seminar in Qatar, Michèle Mouton said: “We can see that wherever we come from, we all have the same will and desire to progress. This has been a hugely satisfying forum for the exchange of ideas, solutions and contacts to enable us all to work closely together in the future.”
The FIA Women in Motorsport Commission also conducted its first meeting of 2014 in Doha on February 20.