Pakistani squash star Maria Toorpakai Wazir will appear as a guest speaker during the ‘The Journey Towards Gender Equity in Sports’ session at the upcoming Peace and Sport Forum, which takes place in Monaco from November 23-25.
The ninth edition of the Peace and Sport Forum will see over 500 leading figures from the worlds of sport, politics, academia, the private sector and civil society convene throughout the three days to focus on how sport can help to foster sustainable peace and ensure a better, fairer and more united world.
The 2016 instalment of the Peace and Sport Forum aims to use sport to strengthen social ties and networks, and to promote ideals of peace, non-violence, tolerance and justice.
Toorpakai will speak on Thursday 24th November about her inspirational story that has seen her rise above gender barricades and inequality to forge a successful career as a professional squash player.
Toorpakai hails from the highly conservative area of South Waziristan in Pakistan, and was forbidden from playing squash due to the local Islamic culture’s attitude on women’s participation in sport, so pretended to be a boy in order to compete.
Once her cover was blown, Toorpakai and her family were subjected to threats until she moved out of the country to be trained under the tutelage of former Men’s World Champion Jonathon Power, beginning a career that has seen her become the country’s number one female squash player.
Tickets for the three day event are available here and prices start from €500.
Toorpakai is also in the running for the 2016 Peace and Sport Champion of the Year, and you can vote for her on the event website.