World Athletics is striving to achieve gender equality ©World Athletics

World Athletics has claimed on International Women's Day that it is taking "significant steps" towards gender equality in 2023.

A main goal of the governing body is to achieve 40 per cent female representation on its Council including one female vice-president this year.

A target has also been set to have 40 per cent of female participants in World Athletics online courses for future sports administrators.

World Athletics has also pledged to help its 214 member federations implement safeguarding policies.

"I am immensely proud that World Athletics is once again leading the way for gender equity in sport," said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, an International Olympic Committee member since July 2020.

"It was an important part of the reforms we introduced in 2016.

"In today's world, it is not enough to provide equal opportunity, we must provide equity.

"In order to achieve true equity in our sport, it is important that we offer our female athletes, administrators, and officials the tools and environment they need to be empowered to pursue careers at all levels of athletics - be it by setting quotas for female representation on our Council, or providing more flexible learning and development opportunities that better suit women's commitments - we are absolutely dedicated to making our sport equitable and representative for all."

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has called on the body's stakeholders to help achieve gender equality ©Getty Images
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has called on the body's stakeholders to help achieve gender equality ©Getty Images

Double Olympic champion Coe also noted that Nielsen research states that 74 per cent of fans believe that World Athletics is committed to championing equality.

He urged all of the organisation's stakeholders to take an active role in helping to achieve collective goals.

"From our Member Federations to Local Organising Committees, to the media and photographers who cover our events, each of us plays a crucial part in achieving equity for women in athletics, sport, and every aspect of life," Coe added.

"I invite everyone in our sport to do their part in standing up for gender equity whenever and wherever they see a need for improvement."

World Athletics has also pledged to increase the number of female coaches at World Championships to at least 20 per cent by Tokyo 2025.

It has committed to aligning with the United Nations Women #DigitALL campaign, hosting another Gender Leadership Conference, organising 10 gender leadership courses, creating two gender leadership podcast series, and launching a pilot mentoring programme to help women attain leadership roles.