Our Story

The U.S. Department of State believes that sport is a vehicle to advance the status, liberty, and well-being of women, girls, and marginalized people at home and abroad. Through its partnership with espnW and the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace & Society to implement the GSMP: Empower Women through Sports program, the Department of State aims expand the footprint of Title IX and its message of equality and opportunity for women to every corner of the world.  This sports diplomacy effort allow new generations of girls to experience the many benefits of sports participation: increased confidence, improved health, greater employment opportunities, and enhanced academic success.

The U.S. Department of State and espnW GSMP: Empower Women through Sports is based on growing evidence that women and girls who play sports are increasingly likely to excel on both the playing field and in life. According to the research, women and girls’ participation in sports is an important social and economic empowerment tool: 1) Women and girls acquire new professional networks, develop a sense of identity and access new opportunities to become more engaged in school and community life; 2) Sports serve as a vehicle to improve women’s and girls’ leadership roles and participation in decision-making; 3) Sports convene people across borders, cultures and belief systems, and can promote greater tolerance and understanding among individuals and communities; 4) Girls’ participation in sports can challenge gender stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes; and 5) Studies show a direct correlation between girls’ participation in sports and higher education and employment.