Moroccan Women Empowered by Guardian Girls Karate 🇲🇦

In launching of the Guardian Girls Global Karate Project in Rabat, the Guardian Girls Karate Seminar, a women's self-defense seminar, was hosted by the Koyamada International Foundation (KIF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Karate Federation (WKF) with the cooperation of the Royal Moroccan Karate Federation to empower girls and women from Morocco to defend themselves from all violence.

Japanese Ambassador Hideaki Kuramitsu said:

“I'm deeply honoured to host this presentation, as Karate is one of the most popular Japanese martial arts among all generations in Morocco. Karate is not merely a martial art, but also a training method of self-discipline that has been practised for a long time by Japanese people." At the end of his remark, he said: "Allow me to introduce two sayings from the Japanese Master Gichin Funakoshi. He says karate is a lifelong puirsuit, meaning that karate requires a lifetime training, but he also said that Karate does not belong only in the dojo. I interpret this phrase as Karate is for everybody, regardless of gender, age, and circumstances. I hope that the lessons given today at the seminar will last in the minds of the beneficiaries as an asset that they practice or utilize in their life in their own way.”

The Secretary General of the Royal Moroccan Karate Federation Ms Bouchra Lakhal said:

“We think that the practice of Karate can play a key role in helping women protect themselves and build self-esteem and confidence, as well as to promote gender equality and women's rights. These social issues deserve our full attention. According to a report from the Ministry of Family and Social Solidarity, more than half of women in Morocco are subject to violence. The activities being held here are very useful since they include many forums and workshops for women and young women to learn how to handle cases of violence and build confidence and self-esteem “

The representative of UNFPA Morocco Mr Yassine Souidi said:

“This initiative was launched by UNFPA, the Koyamada International Foundation and the World Karate Federation, and UNFPA has joined this initiative to empower girls and young women to overcome gender-based violence. We believe that empowering girls and young women is crucial to ending gender-based violence. And we believe that Karate training can be a powerful tool for achieving these goals. Sports encourage people to grow and help end barriers that divide gender and build bridges to connect cultures. From these standpoints, UNFPA seeks to promote the use of sports in activities related to population and reproductive health issues”

WKF President Antonio Espinó said:

“The Guardian Girls Karate Project is a crucial step in the integration of Karate into society. Karate is already deeply integrated with society, but this is a further step in demonstrating Karate’s value to the community. We are dedicating immense work, care, interest, and energy to this project, and I'm sure that after this year, with the six legs of the programme, we will be able to consolidate the Guardian Girls Karate Project even more. We have big plans for 2024 and further, and I'm sure that the strengthening of the programme that we will achieve in 2023 will serve to continue incorporating this project into all levels of society. We must be optimistic because this project has a bright future.”

The presentation included a review of the highlights of the programme, which was hosted by the President of KIF Nia Lyte. Ms Lyte said: “The statistics are shocking. One in three women is subjected to violence at least once in their lifetime. This programme was created to empower women all over the world and I, as president of KIF, could not be happier to be here with all of you today.”