UN WOMEN – UNITED NATIONS ENTITY FOR GENDER EQUALITY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
11/23/2016 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/23/2016 16:08
23/11/2016 Judit Polgar Discusses How She Changed Gender Stereotypes Playing Chess
23 November 2016
Chess Grandmaster Judit Polgar signs on to be a Planet 50-50 Champion in support of UN Women. Front, L-R: Judit Polgar; Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women; back row, L-R, Antonie De Jong, Director Resource Mobilization at UN Women; Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations, Nanette Braun, Chief of Communications, UN Women; Ravi Karkara, Senior Advisor Strategic Partnerships, UN Women. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
On 22 November, Judit Polgar, chess Grandmaster and now a Planet 50-50 Champion in support of UN Women, visited UN Women Headquarters in New York to participate in a dialogue with Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri, youth activists and other experts.
Ranked as the world’s number one female chess player for more than 25 years, Ms. Polgar has won many awards, including a Guinness Record. ‘I was extremely fortunate because my parents always encouraged me and told me ‘you can be as good as boys’. But many borders are set by parents, sometimes they don’t even know, and the same goes with society,’ shared Ms. Polgar.
Judit Polgar, chess Grandmaster, participates in a dialogue at UN Women Headquarters in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Although her parents supported her, Ms. Polgar encountered other obstacles, particularly from male adversaries, who didn’t believe that a woman could play as well as a man. ‘I had to play against each of these players and beat them so that they would admit that I was one of them,’ she added.
Highlighting Ms. Polgar’s role in breaking gender stereotypes and glass ceilings, Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri said: ‘She’s a powerful inspiration to young women and girls in sport and beyond. Her impressive accomplishments demonstrate one of UN Women’s core values-empowered women, young women and girls can do anything they see and set their minds to do.’
‘We have made one of our best moves by appointing you as a Planet 50-50 Champion and I hope that you work with our cause and take it to yet another level,’ Ms. Puri added.
Judit Polgar, Planet 50-50 Champion in support of UN Women; Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations and Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director with UN Women staff and guests on 23 November 2016 in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Ambassador Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations, also participating in the dialogue, referred to Ms. Polgar as ‘a national treasure who is at the same time a true global citizen’.
As a Planet 50-50 Champion in support of UN Women’s work, Ms. Polgar will help garner public awareness about gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Ms. Polgar is particularly focused on youth empowerment. Along with her team, she has developed the award-winning Chess Palace educational programme, which is now part of the official school curriculum in Hungary and uses chess as a learning tool to facilitate learning, logical thinking and decision-making skills in children. Ms. Polgar is committed to working with UN Women to bring the message of gender equality and women’s empowerment to youth, her fans and followers.
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– GM Susan Polgar