In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has honoured Dr. Hayat Khattab for her efforts and achievements in inspiring women in the Paralympic Movement.
Dr. Khattab, President of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Egypt, received the 2018 International Women’s Day Recognition, amid a record number of nominations that was narrowed to five candidates. The annual award is distributed to someone who embodies the spirit of the Paralympics and serves as a role model within the Movement for all females, from athletes to technical officials and committee leaders.
“Getting such an award is a great honour to me personally and to the Egyptian Paralympic Committee. I am very proud of getting this award, which is a compensation for all the hard work I have been doing for the Paralympic Movement,” Dr. Khattab said.
Dr. Khattab became the first women to be named President of the Egyptian Paralympic Committee in 2015. With the position, she has been able to set strategic plans and implement them.
Her belief in the inclusion of females at all levels and ages in Para sports has driven her in many ways. She led efforts to form the first women’s sitting volleyball team went on to claim silver at the African Championships in Rwanda.
“This award means a lot to me being the first female that was elected as President of an Arab National Paralympic Committee, and this proves that women are capable of playing an important role in developing the Paralympic Movement.
“It also means a lot to me also as the President of the Para Volley Africa Committee. I think that this will be a good motivation for all women in the Arab and African NPC's to work hard.”
In addition to encouraging females to take up sports, she is also working to encourage retired female athletes to transfer their skills as coaches, officials and positions in committees.
The decision to award Dr. Khattab with the Recognition was made by the IPC’s Women in Sport Committee. They voted for the winner from a shortlist that included four other influential people from within the world of Para sport – Esther Verfeer (Netherlands), Mina Mojtahedi (Finland), Sarah Storey (Great Britain) and Zahra Nemati (Iran).
Rita van Driel, Chairperson of the IPC Women in Sport Committee, said:
“I am very glad to see many nominations for the 2018 International Women’s Day Recognition award. It was great to see many strong candidates with impressive experiences. I would like to congratulate them all. I encourage them to continue working in the development of women in the Paralympic Movement.”
“Dr. Hayat Khattab has held many roles and is very active in the Movement. She fits the example of a ‘role model,’ of a leader among International Federations and NPCs. She is also a great leader in the African region.”
The United Nations International Women’s Day takes place annually and sees organisations, groups and individuals marking the day with special events to raise awareness of the role of women in society.