The Regional Association announced changes and additions to the committees giving even more members a voice in Asia Rugby matters in an unprecedented stance of 34 federations out of 35 national federations having members on various committees.
In December 2021, 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, chaired by Iranian Nahid Biyarjomandi who has taken over the Gender Equity Committee.
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In line with the same spirit, the committee now includes both genders, some of the previously assigned female ‘observers’ have been given full membership status with complete voting rights on other committees.
Even with the decrease in the number of women in the Gender Equity Committee, other appointments of women in key committee has led to an overall 33% female representation, moving ever closer to the Asia Rugby target of 40% to be achieved by 2024.
Asia Rugby President Qais Al Dhalai commented “With a unanimous support of the EXCO and Council, I am satisfied with the impressive female participation percentage in Asia Rugby Committees increasing by 32% from the time the new Executive Committee was elected in November 2019 until now; we are now at 33% female representation in all Asia Rugby Committees.”
He further added “the current committees feature solid accountability by all Asian national federations with 97% being represented in the committees, increasing by 24% since November 2019. “
At the Asia Rugby Annual Awards ceremony held in Dubai on 1st of December 2021, Michael Leitch the former captain of the Japan national team was announced as the first-ever Asia Rugby Players Ambassador and was also appointed as the Chair of the Athletes Committee.
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The Asia Rugby Athletes Committee was set up to provide a platform for players to be part of the decision-making process in the Regional Association. National federations were requested to send nominations to serve on the committee with the final composition being approved as follows:
Chairperson Michael Leitch (Japan)
First Deputy Rozliana Mohd Ridwan (Malaysia)
Second Deputy Andre Jin (Korea)
Member Kashif Khawaja (Pakistan)
Member Sol Mokdad (Lebanon)
Member Butsaya Bunrak (Thailand)
Member Karina Sazontova (Kazakhstan)
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