The Asia Rugby Council approved the Executive Committee’s (EXCO) recommendation of changing the nomenclature of its ‘Women’s Advisory Committee’, renaming it the Gender Equity Committee, whilst also endorsing the inclusion of individuals of both genders on this committee.
In another move reflecting its commitment to gender equity, the EXCO empowered all committee chairpersons with the right to add more full members to make room for more women on committees, with the option of granting the previously assigned female ‘observers’ full membership status with complete voting rights.
The Women’s Advisory Committee has been at the forefront of major positive changes on the gender equity front with Chairperson Ada Milby leading by example. Ada, who is also Asia Rugby’s representative at World Rugby Council, briefed the Council on her journey and the gender-related advancements achieved by Asia Rugby during her tenure.
Particularly in the last two years, she said, with the support of the Asia Rugby leadership, the EXCO and Council, significant and substantial steps have been taken, including the Women’s Advisory Committee developing into the largest committee and reflecting the widest cross-section of member unions.
In an exemplary gracious and progressive act, Ada expressed her desire to now step down from her role as chairperson of the Committee to allow new leadership to come to the fore. Her services and gesture were greatly appreciated, and her recommendation to EXCO for the Iranian Nahid Biyarjomandi to take over the Gender Equity Committee was approved unanimously.
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Asia Rugby Executive Committee Member and World Rugby Council Member Ada Milby, commented, “It’s been an honor to see the growth of women’s rugby year on year in Asia and see some big milestones achieved with constitutional changes, record number of Union Presidents who are female and a strong network of women all passionate about growing the game in their communities.”
Ada further added “ I’m excited to pass the torch to Nahid who will continue to lead the Gender Equity Committee forward, exploring more ways to remove barriers to make rugby more accessible to all”
Nahid’s a member of Asia Rugby’s EXCO and has been the first deputy chair of the Women’s Advisory Committee for the last two years. In 2019 she was chosen as one of World Rugby’s 15 “Unstoppables” as part of its rebranding of the women’s game. In March 2021, she was one of 12 recipients of the World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship.
Asia Rugby Executive Committee Member Nahid Biyarjomandi commented “Gender equality is a topic we hear a lot about these days. It may seem difficult to achieve, but it is not impossible and Asia Rugby, with the increase in women’s participation in various committees from last year, has shown that it is seriously seeking to implement it. And now, with the renaming of the Women’s Advisory Committee to “Gender Equity”, it has taken a big step in its path. “
Nahid further added “I would like to thank Ada and my colleagues for all the work they have done for women in rugby in the region upto now And I hope that we will continue the path with new positive changes together again and also with the new male members of the committee, we will be able to create a great change not only for women or men but also for equity”