Chinese doubles ace teams up with UNESCO to fight gender inequality
China’s Grand Slam-winning Zheng Jie today became the latest female tennis ace to join forces with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Educational Organization (UNESCO) to encourage the emergence of gender equality around the world.
Ms. Zheng is the third player on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour to be named a “Promoter of Gender Equality” and will be involved in campaigns to raise awareness, both in China and outside, of gender equality issues.
The partnership between UNESCO and the WTA Tour tries to raise awareness and funding through the named Promoters as well as through mentoring, scholarship and fellowship projects designed to create opportunities and the kind of environment for women and girls to succeed in all walks of life.
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said today that he was delighted to announce the appointment of Ms. Zheng, who joins four-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams of the United States and the rising French top-20 player Tatiana Golovin as a Promoter of Gender Equality.
“These accomplished young women serve as leaders and role models for women and girls around the world, sending a singularly important message: gender equality is not an outdated, impossible dream, but a goal that can and must be realized in order for us to achieve peace and sustainable development,” he said.
Ms. Zheng, 24, from Cheng Du, became one half of her country’s first-ever Grand Slam champions when she teamed with compatriot Yan Zi to win the Australian Open and Wimbledon doubles titles last year. She has also won three singles titles since 2005.
After being appointed at a ceremony today in Beijing, Ms. Zheng said she was “truly honoured” to be named to the post.
“Not only through my efforts as a tennis player, but also because of my passion for women’s rights, I hope that I can make a difference on this very important issue,” she said.