At 07:30 local time in Mexico City on the 17th of November 2014, the annual Carrera Azteca 7 & 13 km fun run began with a total of 14,000 participants. What was different this year is that TV Azteca, one of Mexico’s largest TV networks, devoted the race to raising awareness around the issue of violence against women. Everything was orange for the race: the T-shirts that the runners and volunteers wore, the start and finish lines, the huge lines of balloons, everywhere you looked there was a sea of Orange. Orange is the colour UN Women have chosen to indicate the fight to stop violence against women and girls and to raise awareness for their international UNiTE campaign. The IFMA logo was prominent, on every runners T-shirt and every orange sign stating IFMA’s support for the UNiTE campaign and the issues faced by women and girls in their fight against violence and for equality.

The launch of the Female Empowerment through Muaythai (FEM) social initiative is in full swing as well. Elisa Salinas a prominent philanthropist, Director of TV Azteca and their world renowned, prize winning TV programme “What women don’t say” ran the race in support of the cause she is backing with passion. Elisa is a mother to 5 girls, one of whom is Francesca, the Director of Mexico’s new woman’s foundation, The Woman’s Project (TWP). The UN Women displayed their logo proudly along with the UNete (Spanish for UNiTE) campaign logo. The starting gun was fired for the two races by Francesca Salinas and famous Mexican actress and singer, Ximena Sarinana, who sung in the song “One Woman,” created by the UN Woman to enforce the message of female empowerment around the world.

Amongst the many booths present, and holding a prominent position at the finish line, were the TWP and IFMA stands. Many of TWP’s people were there in support giving out brochures and raising awareness around the local campaigns they were heading to help stop violence against women and girls. However, the action all came from the interactive display of the IFMA instructors holding and using the Muaythai pads to demonstrate the beauty of the sport of muaythai and to get the crowd involved in giving it a go themselves. The stand was packed with the biggest draw card being the children who were eager to have a go at playing the game of Muaythai. There was a lot of laughter and much enjoyment as they all worked together to help in the UNiTE campaign to Stop Violence against Women and Girls.

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