The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) launched the AIMS Women’s Commission (AWC) in 2019 with a simple goal: to empower women around the world through the sport of running. This year, during the week of International Women’s Day, AIMS is encouraging female runners around the world to get out and run from March 7 to March 14, which the organization has declared to be International Women’s Day Running Week.
During those seven days, AIMS is asking women around the world to post a photo from their run on Instagram with the hashtag #allwomencanrun and a caption explaining why they love to run, so they can share what it looks like when all women can participate in the sport.
Participation among women in running events has increased in most parts of the world over the last several years, but there are still places where, for various reasons, women and girls struggle to get involved in running. The AIMS Women’s Commission was created to support Goal Five in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development, which is to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
To do this, the Women’s Commission has pushed for the creation of women’s races in areas where races are only available to men, and they are currently putting together a best-practices manual for promoting gender equality and increasing female participation in races. Canada Running Series event director Charlotte Brookes has joined the AWC team to help implement the successful strategies that have been in place in Canada for years, where we have one of the highest rates of women’s participation in distance races in the world.
The AWC is working hard to create a network of women all over the world to promote and increase women’s participation in running events in specific areas where it is low or non-existent. They will also have a representative on the newly-created AIMS Safety and Security Commission to act as an expert on women’s running safety, which will be dedicated to ensuring that everyone — including women — can safely participate in the sport no matter where they are.
So, this year, celebrate International Women’s Day all week long by sharing your photos and joining this growing community of women runners around the world.