Meet the Match
OLYMPIC MARTIAL ARTIST AND JOURNALIST FIGHTS FOR EQUALITY IN EGYPT
In 2004, then 17-year-old Abeer Essawy represented Egypt as a Taekwondo fighter in the Athens Olympic Games. She continued her athletic success in the years after and won five consecutive titles in the African Championship from 2003 to 2007. Now that she has finished with her competitive career in martial arts, Abeer has transitioned to fighting for gender rights in her country by creating easier access to sport programs in her country.
Abeer serves as a member of the Athlete’s Commission for the Egyptian Olympic Committee (EOC). In her role, she interacts with national sports federations and represented Egypt at the Second World Olympians Forum in 2019
Abeer also leverages her experience and network in sports to educate and empower a new generation of Egyptian women, focusing on increasing the percentage of women involved in leadership levels of the Olympic Committee. Though previously a woman has served, Abeer dreams of seeing another female on the EOC’s board of directors or executive board, as all 54 federation presidents are currently males.
Outside of her work with the Olympic Committee, Abeer is also the co-founder of the Egyptian Sports Network (ESN), the first non-football sports network in the country. The network focuses on generating interest in Olympic sports and developing stronger and larger sport-based communities. Abeer hopes this platform can lead to more sport-based career opportunities for women.
For GSMP: Empowering Women through Sports 2019, Abeer will be mentored by Val Ackerman, Commissioner of the Big East Conference, and her team in New York City.