Women and Sport

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                                                                        December 2007

            Women, gender equality
                  and sport

                                                                           Edwina Sandys

                                        UNITED NATIONS
                            Division for the Advancement of Women
                           Department of Economic and Social Affairs
women 2000 and beyond                                                                                            December 2007

Women,                                                                                    have a higher risk of developing than
                                                                                          men.6 Participation in physical activity
                                                                                          aids in the prevention and/or treatment

gender equality                                                                           of other chronic and degenerative dis-
                                                                                          eases associated with aging, such as
                                                                                          type-2 diabetes, hypertension, arthritis,

and sport                                                                                 osteoporosis and cardiovascular abnor-
                                                                                          malities. It also helps in the manage-
                                                                                          ment of weight and contributes to the
                                                                                          formation and maintenance of healthy
                                                                                          bones, muscles and joints. Physical
                                             past that sport was harmful to wom-          activity can reduce the incidence of
                                             en’s health, particularly their repro-       falls among older women.
       “Bicycling has done more to           ductive health. In 1896, Baron Pierre            An important role of physical activ-
    emancipate women than any one            de Coubertin, founder of the modern          ity in the life of older women lies in
    thing in the world”                      Olympics, stated: “No matter how             prolonging independence. Much of the
       —Susan B. Anthony, suffragist, 1896   toughened a sportswoman may be,              physical decline that was presumed an
                                             her organism is not cut out to sustain       inevitable consequence of aging is now
Women’s participation in sport has a         certain shocks.” 2 Such stereotypes          thought to be the result of inactivity.
long history. It is a history marked by
                                             fuelled gender-based discrimination in       While no one can guarantee that exer-
division and discrimination but also one
                                             physical education and in recreational       cise will prolong life, it can enhance
filled with major accomplishments by
                                             and competitive sport, sporting organi-      the quality of life for older women who
female athletes and important advances
                                             zations and sport media.                     value their independence.7
for gender equality and the empower-
                                                                                              The benefits for women and girls
ment of women and girls.
                                                                                          with disabilities are also well estab-
    Among the many remarkable                                                             lished. It has been noted that sport
achievements are those of Helene              The benefits for women                      provides a double benefit to women
Madison of the United States of                and girls of physical                      with disabilities by providing affirma-
America, the first woman to swim                activity and sport                        tions of self-empowerment at both
the 100-yard freestyle in one minute                                                      personal and collective levels.8 Apart
                                             Although many of the clinical trials
at the 1932 Olympics; Maria-Teresa                                                        from enhancing health, wellness and
                                             and epidemiological studies in health
de Filippis of Italy, the first woman to                                                  quality of life, participation in physical
                                             research have excluded women, the
compete in a European Grand Prix auto                                                     activity and sport develops skills such
                                             data available suggest that women
race in 1958; Nawal El Moutawakel                                                         as teamwork, goal-setting, the pursuit
                                             derive many health benefits from an
of Morocco, the first woman from                                                          of excellence in performance and other
                                             active lifestyle.3 The health benefits of
an Islamic nation to win an Olympic                                                       achievement-oriented behaviours that
medal for the 400-metre hurdles at           women’s participation in physical activ-
                                                                                          women and girls with disabilities may
the 1984 Olympics; and Tegla Loroupe         ity and sport are now well established.
                                                                                          not be exposed to in other contexts.9
of Kenya, who in 1994 became the             Participation in sport and physical activ-
                                                                                              Participation in sport and physical
first African woman to win a major           ity can prevent a myriad of noncom-
                                                                                          activity can also facilitate good mental
marathon.1 Women have taken up top           municable diseases which account
                                                                                          health for women of all ages, includ-
leadership positions in sport, such as       for over 60 per cent of global deaths,
                                                                                          ing the management of mental disor-
Presidents and Secretaries-General of        66 per cent of which occur in develop-
                                                                                          ders such as Alzheimer’s disease.10 It
National Olympic Committees. More            ing countries.4 For girls, it can have a
                                                                                          can promote psychological well-being
and more women have also taken up            positive impact on childhood health, as
                                                                                          through building self-esteem, confi-
employment opportunities in all areas        well as reduce the risk of chronic dis-
                                                                                          dence and social integration, as well
of sport, including as coaches, manag-       eases in later life.
                                                                                          as help reduce stress, anxiety, loneli-
ers, officials and sport journalists.           For older women, it can contribute        ness and depression. This is particu-
   These achievements were made in           to the prevention of cardiovascular dis-     larly important as rates of depression
the face of numerous barriers based on       eases, which account for one third of        among women are almost double
gender discrimination. Women were            deaths among women around the world          those of men in both developed and
often perceived as being too weak for        and half of all deaths among women           developing countries.11 Adolescent
sport, particularly endurance sports,        over 50 in developing countries.5 Physi-     girls in particular are vulnerable to anxi-
such as marathons, weightlifting and         cal activity also helps to reduce the        ety and depressive disorders and are
cycling, and it was often argued in the      effects of osteoporosis, which women         significantly more likely than boys to

December 2007                                                                                       women 2000 and beyond

have seriously considered suicide by                                                     ment in many different areas, including
the age of 15.12                                    Inequalities                         in the home, the community and the
   In addition to improvements in
                                                 and discrimination:                     labour market. The current dominance
health, women and girls stand to gain
                                                    constraining                         of men in the world of sport makes
specific social benefits from partici-
                                                   women in sport                        their involvement and contributions to
                                            The positive outcomes of sport for           achieving gender equality in this area
pation in sport and physical activity.
                                            gender equality and women’s empow-           critical.
Sport provides women and girls with
                                            erment are constrained by gender-                This publication explores the power of
an alternative avenue for participation
                                            based discrimination in all areas and at     sport and physical education to advance
in the social and cultural life of their
                                            all levels of sport and physical activity,   gender equality and the empower-
communities and promotes enjoyment
                                            fuelled by continuing stereotypes of         ment of women and girls. It examines
of freedom of expression, interper-
                                            women’s physical abilities and social        persistent inequalities and challenges
sonal networks, new opportunities and       roles. Women are frequently segre-           to equal participation and benefits
increased self-esteem. It also expands      gated involuntarily into different types     for women and girls, as well as ways
opportunities for education and for the     of sports, events and competitions           to address them. Examples of good
development of a range of essential life    specifically targeted to women. Wom-         practices are provided in all areas. The
skills, including communication, leader-    en’s access to positions of leadership       report outlines recommendations for
ship, teamwork and negotiation.             and decision-making is constrained           action in the areas of research, policy
   Inactive adults can rapidly improve      from the local level to the international    and operational activities.
their health and well-being by becom-       level. The value placed on women’s
ing moderately active on a regular basis.   sport is often lower, resulting in inad-
Physical activity need not be strenuous     equate resources and unequal wages
                                                                                            The United Nations
to achieve health benefits and it is        and prizes. In the media, women’s
                                            sport is not only marginalized but also       human rights and sport
never too late to gain benefits.13
                                            often presented in a different style           for development and
                                            that reflects and reinforces gender
      The benefits of women’s                                                                peace framework
           participation                    stereotypes. Violence against women,
       for sport and society                exploitation and harassment in sport
                                            are manifestations of the perceptions             “The practice of physical educa-
In addition to benefits for women and       of men’s dominance, physical strength          tion and sport is a fundamental right
girls themselves, women’s increased         and power, which are traditionally por-        for all.”
involvement can promote positive            trayed in male sport.                                   —UNESCO International Charter
                                                                                                    of Physical Education and Sport,
development in sport by providing alter-        A number of critical elements have                                          article 1
native norms, values, attitudes, know-      been identified for challenging gender
ledge, capabilities and experiences.        discrimination and unequal gender            A rights-based understanding of sport
The contributions of women, particu-        relations, and establishing an enabling      and physical activity has been present
larly in leadership positions, can bring    environment for gender equality and          since the founding of the United Nations.
diversity and alternative approaches        the empowerment of women, in many            In 1948, the Universal Declaration of
                                            different areas, including women and         Human Rights set out a framework of
and expand the talent base in areas
                                            sport. They include improving wom-           rights and duties and recognized that
such as management, coaching and
                                            en’s capabilities, through education         “Everyone has the right to rest and lei-
sport journalism.
                                            and health; increasing their access to       sure . . .” (article 24); “Education shall
    The participation of women and girls                                                 be directed to the full development of
                                            and control over opportunities and
in sport challenges gender stereo-                                                       the human personality . . .” (article 26);
                                            resources, such as employment and
types and discrimination, and can           economic assets; enhancing their             and “Everyone has the right to freely
therefore be a vehicle to promote gen-      agency and leadership roles; protect-        participate in the cultural life of the
der equality and the empowerment of         ing and promoting their human rights;        community . . .” (article 27).14
women and girls. In particular, women       and ensuring their security, including          Sport and physical activity were first
in sport leadership can shape attitudes     freedom from violence.                       specifically recognized as a human right
towards women’s capabilities as lead-           The role of men and boys in chal-        in the International Charter of Physical
ers and decision-makers, especially         lenging and changing unequal power           Education and Sport, adopted in 1978
in traditional male domains. Women’s        relations is critical. In recent years, a    by the United Nations Educational,
involvement in sport can make a sig-        stronger focus has developed on the          Scientific and Cultural Organization
nificant contribution to public life and    positive role men and boys can and do        (UNESCO). The Charter states: “One of
community development.                      play in promoting women’s empower-           the essential conditions for the effec-

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                            December 2007

tive exercise of human rights is that         creative ways. Women play an integral       level, and to promote the use of sport
everyone should be free to develop            role in the achievement of every MDG,       as a recognized tool in development.
and preserve his or her physical, intel-      and every MDG is vital to gender equal-     The Task Force report Sport as a tool
lectual, and moral powers, and that           ity and women’s empowerment.                for development and peace: Towards
access to physical education and sport            In 2002, the Secretary-General con-     achieving the United Nations Millen-
should consequently be assured and            vened the United Nations Inter-Agency       nium Development Goals provides an
guaranteed for all human beings.”15           Task Force on Sport for Development         overview of the growing role that sport
    The Convention on the Rights of the       and Peace to encourage a more coher-        activities play in many United Nations
Child, adopted in 1989, also supports         ent approach to the use of sport-related    policies and programmes and summa-
the notion of sport and physical educa-       initiatives in the pursuit of development   rizes the lessons learned. The report
tion as a human right. In article 29 (1),     goals, particularly at the community        concludes that sport programmes must
States parties agreed that the educa-
tion of the child shall be directed to “the
development of the child’s personality,                                   Sport and the MDGs
talents and mental and physical abilities           Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Providing develop-
to their fullest potential”.16                   ment opportunities will help fight poverty. The sport industry, as well as
    The adoption of the United Nations           the organization of large sporting events, creates opportunities for employ-
Convention on the Rights of Persons              ment. Sport provides life skills essential for a productive life in society. The
with Disabilities in 2006 marked a               opportunity to acquire such skills is often more limited for women, making
significant step forward in the policy           their access to sport of critical importance.
framework on sport for people with                  Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education. Sport and physical edu-
disabilities. The Convention affirms the         cation are an essential element of quality education. They promote posi-
right of persons with disabilities to par-       tive values and skills that have an immediate and lasting impact on young
ticipate in mainstream and disability-           people. Sport activities and physical education generally make school more
specific sporting activities at all levels       attractive and improve attendance.
and to have equal access to training,
                                                    Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women. Increas-
resources, venues and services. It also
                                                 ing access for women and girls to physical education and sport helps build
affirms the right of children with dis-
                                                 confidence and promotes stronger social integration. Involving girls in sport
abilities to have equal access to recre-
                                                 activities alongside boys can help overcome prejudice that often contributes
ation and sporting activities, including
                                                 to social vulnerability of women and girls.
those in the school system.17 The spe-
cific focus on equality between women                Goals 4 and 5: Reduce child mortality and improve maternal
and men and women with disabilities              health. Sport can be an effective means to provide women with a healthy
in this new Convention will benefit              lifestyle as well as to convey important messages on a wide range of health
women and girls in sport.18
                                                    Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Sport can
   Over the past decade, there has
                                                 help engage otherwise difficult-to-reach populations and provide positive
been a growing understanding that
                                                 role models delivering prevention messages. The most vulnerable popula-
access to and participation in sport and
                                                 tions, including women and girls, are highly responsive to sport-targeted pro-
physical education is not only a right in
                                                 grammes. Sport can also effectively assist in overcoming prejudice, stigma
itself, but can also be used to promote
                                                 and discrimination.
a number of important development
goals through facilitating democratic               Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability. Sport is ideal for raising
principles, promoting leadership devel-          awareness about the need to preserve the environment. The interdepen-
opment, and encouraging tolerance and            dency between the regular practice of outdoor sports and the protection of
respect, as well as providing access to          the environment is clear.
opportunities and social networks. All              Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development. Sport offers
areas of development can be influenced           diverse opportunities for innovative partnerships for development and can
by sport, including health, education,           be used as a tool to build and foster partnerships between developed and
employment, social inclusion, political          developing nations to work towards achieving the Millennium Development
development and peace and security.              Goals.
   Sport has the potential to contrib-              Source: Adapted from International Year of Sport and Physical Education
ute to the achievement of each of the            (2005). A year of sports. Available from http://www.un.org/sport2005/a_year/
United Nations Millennium Develop-               mill_goals.html
ment Goals (MDGs) in unique and

December 2007                                                                                          women 2000 and beyond

be based on the “sport for all” model,        action plan serves as an initial road         mentation of these commitments has
ensuring that all groups are given the        map for a three-year period to expand         begun in all regions, and has resulted
opportunity to participate, particularly      and strengthen partnerships, sport for        in real and tangible progress for gen-
those who gain additional benefits,           development and peace programmes              der equality and the empowerment of
such as women, persons with disabili-         and projects, as well as advocacy and         women and girls. However, the imple-
ties and young people.19                      communications activities. The plan           mentation of the frameworks continues
   In 2004, the General Assembly              calls for the development of a global         to be constrained by gender-based dis-
adopted resolution 58/5, “Sport as a          framework to strengthen a common              crimination in all areas and at all levels
means to promote education, health,           vision, define priorities and further raise   of sport and physical education.
development and peace”, which invited         awareness to promote and mainstream
Governments, the United Nations, the          easily replicable sport for development
specialized agencies, where appro-
                                              and peace policies. It also calls for pro-           United Nations
                                              moting innovative funding mechanisms               intergovernmental
priate, and sport-related institutions
                                              and voluntary arrangements, including                   processes
to work collectively so that sport and
                                              the engagement of sport organizations,
physical education could present                                                            The Beijing Platform for Action, adopted
                                              civil society, athletes and the private
opportunities for solidarity and coop-                                                      at the Fourth World Conference on
eration, in order to promote a culture                                                      Women in 1995, provides important
of peace and social and gender equal-                                                       policy recommendations on women,
ity and to advocate dialogue and har-              Policy/normative                         gender equality and sport. The Platform
mony. It recognized the power of sport                                                      calls for the provision of accessible rec-
to contribute to human development              frameworks on women,
                                                                                            reational and sport facilities by educa-
and proclaimed the year 2005 as the                gender equality                          tional institutions, the establishment
International Year of Sport and Physical              and sport                             and strengthening of gender-sensitive
Education.                                                                                  programmes for girls and women of
    The International Year aimed to                “States parties shall take all appro-    all ages in education and community
facilitate better knowledge-sharing             priate measures to eliminate discrim-       institutions, and the creation and sup-
among different key stakeholders, raise         ination against women in other areas        port of programmes in the education
awareness and create the right condi-           of economic and social life in order        system, workplace and community
tions for the implementation of more            to ensure, on a basis of equality of        to make opportunities to participate
sport-based human development pro-              women and men, the same rights, in          in sport and physical activity available
grammes. It provided a unique oppor-            particular . . . [t]he rights to partici-   to girls and women of all ages, on the
tunity to use the power of sport to mo-         pate in recreational activities, sports     same basis as they are made available
bilize individuals, organizations and local     and all aspects of cultural life.”          to men and boys. 21
communities, drawing together diverse                     —Convention on the Elimination       The Commission on the Status of
groups in a positive and supportive                        of All Forms of Discrimination   Women, the principal global policymak-
environment. During the International                         against Women (article 13)    ing body on gender equality, addressed
Year, over 100 international initiatives      Within the established framework of           sport and physical activity in its review
and thousands of local projects were          human rights and sport for develop-           of progress made in the implementa-
undertaken by Governments, the United         ment and peace, a number of United            tion of the Beijing Platform for Action.
Nations system, non-governmental              Nations intergovernmental and treaty          In agreed conclusions 1999/17 (I) on
organizations (NGOs) and the private          body processes, as well as other inter-       women and health, the Commission
sector. An unprecedented amount of            national and regional processes, have         called on Governments, the United
media attention was accorded to the           specifically addressed some of the            Nations system and civil society to
issue of sport and physical educa-            critical gender equality issues in sport      encourage women to practise regular
tion. The notion of “sport for all” was       and physical education. Global and            sport and recreational activities, which
emphasized and the principle of non-          regional policy/normative frameworks          have a positive impact on women’s
discrimination was upheld as a funda-         on women, gender equality and sport           health, well-being and fitness through-
mental human right.                           have been developed.                          out the whole life cycle, and ensure
   In 2006, Secretary-General Kofi              These policy/normative frameworks           that women enjoy equal opportunities
Annan presented the United Nations            have laid the foundation for a just and       to practise sport, use sport facilities
Action Plan on Sport for Development          equitable world of sport for women and        and take part in competitions. 22
and Peace, which was included in his          men. They have also recognized the               The outcome of the five-year review
report on “Sport for Development              power of sport as a catalyst for social       of the implementation of the Beijing
and Peace: the way forward”. 20 The           and economic development. Imple-              Declaration and Platform for Action rec-

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                               December 2007

                                                                                              States parties to take all appropriate
             Sport and the Beijing Platform for Action                                        measures to eliminate discrimination
                                                                                              against women in other areas of eco-
    Under the critical area of concern on education, the Platform calls for Gov-              nomic and social life in order to ensure,
    ernments, educational authorities and other educational and academic insti-               on the basis of equality between women
    tutions to provide accessible recreational and sport facilities and establish             and men, the same rights, including
    and strengthen gender-sensitive programmes for girls and women of all                     the right to participate in recreational
    ages in education and community institutions and support the advancement                  activities, sports and all aspects of
    of women in all areas of athletics and physical activity, including coaching,             cultural life. 25
    training and administration, and as participants at the national, regional and               The Committee on the Elimination
    international levels.                                                                     of Discrimination against Women has
       In relation to health, the Platform calls for Governments to create and                also reminded States parties, in its gen-
    support programmes in the education system, workplace and community                       eral recommendation No. 25 on tempo-
    to make opportunities to participate in sport, physical activity and recreation           rary special measures, that temporary
    available to girls and women of all ages on the same basis as they are made               special measures, such as positive
    available to men and boys.                                                                action, preferential treatment or quota
       In the critical area of concern on power and decision-making, the                      systems, should be implemented in the
    Platform notes that the underrepresentation of women in decision-making                   areas of sports, culture and recreation.
    positions in the areas of art, culture, sport, the media, education, religion             The Committee further emphasized
    and law have prevented women from having a significant impact on many                     that, where necessary, such measures
    key institutions.                                                                         should be directed at women subjected
        In relation to the situation of the girl-child, the Platform calls for Govern-        to multiple discrimination, including
    ments and international and non-governmental organizations to promote the                 rural women. 26
    full and equal participation of girls in extracurricular activities, such as sport,
    drama and cultural activities.
                                                                                                  Other international
       Source: United Nations (1995). Report of the Fourth World Conference on
    Women in Beijing, 4-15 September 1995. New York (United Nations publication.                  and regional policy
    Sales No. 96.IV.13). Critical Area of Concern B, Education and training of                       frameworks
    women, Strategic Objective B.2, para. 83 (m). See the Critical Area of Concern
    C, Women and health, Strategic Objective C.2, para. 107 (f); Critical Area of             Other processes have also contributed
    Concern G, Women in power and decision-making, para. 183; and, Critical Area              to global and regional policy frame-
    of Concern L, The girl-child, Strategic Objective L.4, para. 280 (d).                     works on women, gender equality and
                                                                                              sport. International bodies that have
                                                                                              been particularly active in developing
ognized the need for gender equality in        to promote gender equality and the             such frameworks include the Interna-
sport and physical education. It called        empowerment of women. 24                       tional Council of Sport Science and
on Governments and regional and                                                               Physical Education, the International
international organizations, including                                                        Olympic Committee, the International
the United Nations system, to ensure                    United Nations                        Paralympic Committee and numerous
equal opportunities for women and                        treaty bodies                        groups and networks, such as the Inter-
girls in cultural, recreational and sport                                                     national Working Group on Women and
activities, as well as in participation in     The Convention on the Elimination of
                                                                                              Sport, WomenSport International and
athletics and physical activities at the       All Forms of Discrimination against            the International Association of Physi-
national, regional and international lev-      Women provides binding obligations             cal Education for Women and Girls.
els, such as in access, training, compe-       for States parties on eliminating dis-
tition, remuneration and prizes. 23            crimination against women and girls in                     International
    The understanding that sport pro-          the area of sports and physical educa-                       processes
grammes can be an important vehicle            tion. Article 10 calls for States parties to   The International Olympic Committee
for promoting gender equality has con-         take all appropriate measures to elimi-        (IOC) plays a central leadership role
tinued to advance, particularly since          nate discrimination against women in           in the world of sport, and its policies
the establishment of the International         order to ensure to them equal rights           set standards in international, regional
Year of Sport and Physical Education.          with men in the field of education,            and national sporting events and pro-
In 2006, the General Assembly, for the         including ensuring the same opportuni-         cedures. In 1994, it requested that
first time, specifically invited Member        ties to participate actively in sports and     the Olympic Charter be amended to
States to initiate sport programmes            physical education. Article 13 calls for       include an explicit reference to the

December 2007                                                                                     women 2000 and beyond

need for action on women and sport.
This is reflected in the current Charter,          Resolution of the Second International Olympic
adopted in 2004, which states that                Committee World Conference on Women and Sport
one of the roles of the Committee is to
“encourage and support the promotion           The resolution, adopted in 2000, calls for a number of strategies and actions
of women in sport at all levels and in all     to be taken by the International Olympic Committee, Governments and
structures with a view to implement-           international organizations, including the United Nations system, such as:
ing the principle of equality of men and       • Meeting the 20 per cent goal of women in decision-making by 2005;
                                               • Increasing scholarships and training for women athletes, coaches and
    In 1995, the International Olympic           other officials;
Committee established a Working                • Raising awareness about the positive influence of the Convention on
Group on Women and Sport, which                  the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on the
was elevated to the status of a Com-             development of physical activity and sport for women and girls;
mission in 2004. The Women and Sport           • Urging the Commission on the Status of Women to recognize the impor-
Commission, which meets once a year,             tance of physical activity and sport to women’s and girls’ development
monitors the participation of women in           at all stages of their lives;
the Olympics as well as their represen-        • Raising awareness about the importance of quality physical education;
tation in decision-making. The Commis-
                                               • Developing strategies and educational material to support physical edu-
sion organizes quadrennial IOC World
                                                 cation for girls;
Conferences on Women and Sport to
                                               • Implementing sexual harassment policies, including codes of conduct;
assess progress made in women and
sport within the Olympic Movement,
                                               • Working with the media to ensure a more accurate projection of wom-
define priority actions and increase the
                                                 en’s sport.
involvement of women.
                                                  Source: International Olympic Committee (2000). Resolution of the 2nd
   The International Working Group             IOC World Conference on Women and Sport. Paris, France. Available from
on Women and Sport, an indepen-                http://www.olympic.org/common/asp/download_report.asp?file=en_report_
dent coordinating body of government           757.pdf&id=757
organizations, aims to be a catalyst for
the advancement and empowerment
of women and sport globally. It was
established in 1994 at the First World               The Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport
Conference on Women and Sport, held             The Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport calls for:
in Brighton, United Kingdom, organized
                                                • Equality in society and sport;
by the British Sports Council and sup-
                                                • Sport facilities that meet the needs of women;
ported by the International Olympic
Committee. At this conference, the              • An increase in the number of women coaches, advisers and decision-
Brighton Declaration was adopted and              makers in sport;
endorsed by the 280 delegates from 82           • Education, training and development programmes that address gender
countries representing Governments,               equality;
NGOs, National Olympic Committees,              • Information and research on women and sport;
international and national sport fed-           • Allocation of resources for sportswomen and women’s programmes;
erations, and educational and research            and
institutions.                                   • Incorporation of the promotion of gender equality and sharing of good
   The Second International Working               practices into governmental and non-governmental policies and pro-
Group on Women and Sport World                    grammes on women and sport.
Conference on Women and Sport took                  Source: International Working Group on Women and Sport (1994). The
place in Windhoek, Namibia, in 1998.            Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport. Available from http://www.iwg-
The Windhoek Call for Action further
developed the aims of the Brighton
Declaration, calling for the promotion
of sport as a means to realize broader       adopted at the Third IWG World Con-       variety of actions, including information
goals in health, education and women’s       ference in Montreal, Canada, in 2002,     and advocacy campaigns and the inte-
human rights.28 This idea was strength-      which recognized that the path to real-   gration of sport into community devel-
ened in the Montreal Communiqué              izing these broader goals involves a      opment projects. 29 The Fourth IWG

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                          December 2007

                                                                                        the 2006 Doha Asian Games, and to
            The Montreal Tool Kit—A Manual for Change                                   include therein a special chapter on
                                                                                        women with disabilities.37
    The Montreal Tool Kit was developed for the Third World Conference on
                                                                                            The Commonwealth Games Federa-
    Women and Sport as a reference manual containing 20 tools to help women
                                                                                        tion also promotes the role of women
    activists working to increase women’s participation in sports. The manual
                                                                                        in sport as participants and as decision-
    includes tools on advocacy and awareness-raising, such as “Creating an
                                                                                        makers. Regulation 6 of its March 2006
    advocacy strategy” and “Non-sexist sport commentary for media”; tools
                                                                                        Constitution states that the Common-
    for changing organizations, such as “Terms of reference for a Women and
                                                                                        wealth Games retains its status as a
    Sport Committee” and “Sample harassment policy”; tools for individual
                                                                                        leader in promoting gender equality,
    development, such as “Building a case for mentoring”; and other tools for
                                                                                        and that future programmes in sports
    action, such as “Measuring your success”.
                                                                                        will have a balanced participation and
       Source: International Working Group on Women and Sport (2002a). The              profile for males and females. Article
    Montreal Tool Kit. A legacy of 2002 World Conference. Canada: International         17 of the Constitution also states that
    Working Group on Women and Sport. Available from http://www.canada2002.
                                                                                        both women and men shall contribute
                                                                                        at least 20 per cent or two of the repre-
                                                                                        sentatives on the Executive Board and
World Conference, held in May 2006         women, young people and children in          on the Sports Committee and any other
in Kumamoto, Japan,30 concluded with       sport (3/2000).33                            committees and commissions formed
the Kumamoto Commitment to Collab-             In 2002, the African Sports Confed-      by the Executive Board.38
oration, which expressed participants’     eration of Disabled (ASCOD) estab-
commitment to building a collabora-        lished a policy on disabled women’s
tive network in order to realize gender    and girls’ participation in sport and rec-       Sport as a vehicle
equality in and through sport.31           reation. The policy aims to increase the        for gender equality
                                           participation of women and girls at all
                                           levels of sport and recreation in order        and the empowerment
                                           to achieve gender equality, and calls           of women and girls
Regional bodies also address gender        on the Confederation and its member
equality issues in sport. For example,     nations to bear the duty of advising
in 2005, the Parliamentary Assembly                                                          ”. . . [M]y trainers taught me to
                                           Ministers of Sport on ways to meet the
of the Council of Europe passed rec-                                                      believe in myself . . . I was inspired
                                           targets set out in the policy.34
ommendation 1701 on discrimination                                                        and learned determination and dis-
                                               In 2001, the first Asian Conference        cipline. Sports allow you to get to
against women and girls in sport. The
                                           on Women and Sport, held in Osaka,             know yourself.”
recommendation calls on the Commit-
                                           Japan, led to the establishment of
tee of Ministers to promote women’s                                                                         —Nawal El Moutawakel,
                                           the Asian Working Group on Women
sport and women’s participation in                                                                  the first Olympic gold medallist
sport; accord greater importance to        and Sport (AWG). The Working Group                        from Morocco (1984 Olympics
                                           developed the Asian Women and Sport                                         —hurdles) 39
school-based physical education for
women and girls; conduct awareness-        Action Plan 2001, which sought to            The relationship between gender
raising among officials in sport, edu-     expand equal opportunities for women         equality and sport is not solely about
cation and health; support women’s         and men and girls and boys in Asia to        achieving equality in women’s partici-
participation in top-level sport; ensure   participate fully in sport. 35 The sec-      pation and treatment within sports, but
equality in terms of pay, prize money      ond Asian Conference, held in Qatar          it is also about promoting “sport for
and bonuses; ensure that women             in 2003, adopted the “Doha Confer-           gender equality”, or harnessing the
play a greater role in ruling bodies of    ence Resolutions”, which encouraged          potential of sport for social empower-
sports organizations; conduct an in-       all parties to actively support women        ment of women and girls. Sport offers
depth study of national sport policies;    and sport.36 The “Yemen Challenge”,          a valuable channel to strengthen wom-
ensure collection of gender-specific       adopted at the third Asian Conference        en’s and girls’ capabilities and provide
statistics; and increase media coverage    in Yemen in 2005, emphasized the             information on important social issues,
of women in sport.32 The recommen-         importance of continued promotion            such as health, HIV/AIDS and women’s
dation also calls for the combating of     and development of women in sport            rights. Women’s and girls’ participation
sexual abuse in relation to sport, which   in Asia and included a request for all       in sport can also challenge gender ster-
follows on from the 2000 Council of        Asian Governments and National               eotypes and break down entrenched
Europe resolution on the prevention        Olympic Committees to formulate a            discriminatory attitudes and behav-
of sexual harassment and abuse of          national women and sport policy by           iours. Myriam Lamare, a World Boxing

December 2007                                                                                         women 2000 and beyond

Association champion from France, has
said that the punches she lands shake                           Women swimming into the future
the foundations of society.40
                                                In the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, many women and girls were not able to
                                                swim or were not capable of climbing onto the roofs, up trees or to other
   Empowering women                             safe areas. Women Without Borders, together with the Austrian Swim-
  and girls through sport                       ming Association and the Austrian Life-Saving Federation, are therefore
                                                implementing a programme to offer swimming lessons for girls and women
Sport can be an important tool for              in the South Indian coastal regions. This is not only a valuable contribution
social empowerment through the skills           to their future survival, but also strengthens self-confidence and develops
and values learned, such as teamwork,           group identity and solidarity among the women. In addition, this unique
negotiation, leadership, communica-             initiative will bring more respect and an elevated status for women within
tion and respect for others. The social         their rural societies.
benefits of participation in sport are
thought to be especially important for             Source: Women Without Borders. Women Swimming into the Future.
                                                Promoting and strengthening women in the South Asian Tsunami region.
girls, given that many girls, particularly      A Women Without Borders Pilot Program for Swimming Training. Available
in adolescence, have fewer oppor-               from http://sport.austria.gv.at/Docs/2005/7/8/Women%20Swimming%201%
tunities than boys for social interac-          20page%20ok.doc
tion outside the home and beyond
family structures.41 Women and girls
acquire new interpersonal networks,          pursuit of active spiritual practices.        economic and social gains. The con-
develop a sense of identity and access       The psychological benefits of physical        cept starts with traditional fitness and
new opportunities, allowing them to          activity, essential for a sense of positive   adds psychosocial wellness strategies
become more engaged in school and            embodiment, can be acquired through           and the pursuit of active self-care for
community life.42 Participation in sport     the enjoyment of the physical activity,       body, mind and spirit. Positive embodi-
also enables women and girls to enjoy        self-chosen levels of competition, and        ment requires a lifestyle incorporating
freedom of expression and movement           the provision of social support from the      self-assertion and self-care which is
and increase their self-esteem and self-     family and the community.43                   the basis of a vigorous and satisfying
confidence.                                     The concept of positive embodiment         sense of one’s own body.44
   It has also been argued that sport        implies that women and girls have the            Positive embodiment can be seen as
and physical education can serve as the                                                    a model of self-care that allows women
                                             right and responsibility to create active,
basis for a sense of “positive embodi-                                                     to achieve a balance between caring for
                                             healthy lifestyles to sustain vitality in
ment”. This concept goes beyond the                                                        themselves and caring for others. Most
                                             their lives. There are psychological,
idea of physical fitness and incorpo-                                                      women prioritize the needs of others
                                             emotional and medical benefits to
rates psychological benefits and the                                                       before their own needs, a pattern that
                                             doing so, as well as significant broader
                                                                                           often leads to neglect of themselves.
                                                                                           As a result, women deplete their
        Empowerment of Afghan women through sport                                          resources of time and energy in the
                                                                                           care of others. Self-care involves the
   The Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) is a network of 97 NGOs working to                     creation of personal time and space
   empower Afghan women. They work on, among other things, breaking the                    for women and opportunities for posi-
   restrictions on free movement of women, including through sport. The Net-               tive interaction of the mind, body and
   work creates opportunities for girls to participate in sport in schools and be          spirit. Adoption of the physical embodi-
   more physically active, and improve confidence and positive self-esteem.                ment approach, with its critical con-
   The Network also raises awareness among the young women about their                     cept of active self-care, would require
   rights and their potential contributions to their families, communities and             complex changes in lifestyle for many
   to the nation. AWN is working in four schools in two locations: Jalalabad               women.45
   and Peshawar. Each school has a volleyball team and is supported by a                      Sport can serve as a vehicle to
   coach. Matches have been played in the schools and a final match was                    improve women’s and girls’ leadership
   held between schools at the end of 2007. A total of 48 young girls benefited            roles and participation in decision-
   directly from the programme.                                                            making. The acquisition of valuable
       Source: Mama Cash (2007). (she’s into sports) How sports promote                    skills in management, negotiation and
   gender-equity worldwide. Available from http://www.mamacash.org/uploads/                decision-making empowers women
   File/she%20has%20news/publicaties/Shes_into_sports_18-05-07_web.pdf                     and girls to become leaders in all areas
                                                                                           of community life, as well as in the

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                          December 2007

                                                                                            Sporting activities can be an impor-
                                                                                        tant forum for providing information
                        Empowering girls as leaders
                                                                                        to women and girls on sexuality and
     A number of initiatives are being implemented to give girls the chance to          health, including reproductive health.
     be leaders, improve their confidence, increase their self-awareness and            Girls’ participation in sport can generate
     strengthen their capacities in terms of decision-making, critical thinking and     a greater awareness and understanding
     negotiating. A project in Kenya on football and peer-led health education          of their bodies and its functions, as well
     for rural teenage girls uses trained girl referees to officiate at all matches     as a greater sense of self-ownership and
     during the organization’s annual tournaments. In Zambia, the Go Sisters!           respect. A study by the Women’s Sports
     project aims to empower girls through sport by training them to become             Foundation on sport and teen pregnancy
     peer leaders, providing them with scholarships, and involving them in all          in the United States found that the sense
     levels of decision-making.                                                         of ownership and respect for their bod-
         Source: Sports and Development Projects. Sport and Development                 ies developed by adolescent girls who
     official website. Available from www.sportanddev.org/en/projects/index.htm;        participate in sport encourages them
     and International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and        to delay sexual activity, thereby reduc-
     Women (2005). Newsletter. November. Available from http://www.iapesgw.             ing the levels of teen pregnancy. 46
                                                                                        Research on links between sport and
        In Saint Lucia, the Healthy Lifestyles Programme exposes girls to sport         girls’ sexual behaviour has also been
     skills through regional netball tournaments as well as through instruction         conducted by the Wellesley Centers
     in healthy lifestyles. Workshops build leadership among girls, with training       for Women. The study showed that
     in goal-setting, teamwork and decision-making skills. The Programme also           the decrease in risky sexual behaviour
     promotes healthy lifestyles and covers topics such as exercise, nutrition,         among girls who participate in sport is
     sexuality, drugs and alcohol.                                                      partly due to a delay in sexual initiation
         Source: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. “Regional Survey            and partly due to social-psychological
     of Development through Sport Programmes implemented at the country level”.         dynamics, such as enhanced self-
     Available from http://www.caricom.org/jsp/community_organs/regionalsurvey_         confidence, a less stereotypical gender
                                                                                        identity and/or a stronger desire to
                                                                                        avoid teenage pregnancy.47
    As more and more women and girls         menting the successes of women and             The United Nations Inter-Agency
serve in leadership and decision-            girl leaders in the world of sport is an   Task Force on Sport for Development
making positions, their influence as         important step in raising awareness        and Peace found that the groups most
role models and mentors encourages           and providing encouragement and sup-       at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS—women
more women and girls to participate at       port to other aspiring leaders.            and young people, especially girls—
all levels of sport. Promoting and docu-

                                                                                                 Reaching out
                  Enhancing women’s confidence                                                to young women on
             and leadership through sports in Pakistan                                        reproductive health
     The Pakistan Association of Women Sport, affiliated with the national sports          A Kenyan NGO, Moving the Goal-
     organization, is active in promoting women’s participation in sports in Paki-         posts Kilifi, uses football practices
     stan. Believing that sport provides an excellent venue for women to gain              and matches as an entry point for
     confidence and develop decision-making and leadership skills for future life,         peer education on reproductive
     the Association organizes seminars, clinics and workshops of women lead-              health. The organization holds
     ers in the sports field to promote a cross-cultural exchange of ideas on              discussion groups with girls after
     women in sports and sports decision-making. The Association also aims                 practice, facilitated by trained peer
     to raise awareness about the development needs of Pakistan, particularly              educators, on topics such as repro-
     those relating to young women.                                                        ductive health, HIV/AIDS, asser-
        Source: Oglesby, Carole A., in collaboration with the International Working        tiveness and decision-making.
     Group on Women and Sport, WomenSport International, the International
     Association of Physical Education for Women and Girls, and the International              Source: Sports and Development
     Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (2006). Positive Embodiment:          Projects. Sport and Development
     Contributions of Sport, Exercise and Physical Recreation to the Life-long             official website. Available from
     Development of Girls and Women. (Brief prepared for the Division for the              www.sportanddev.org/en/projects/
     Advancement of Women).                                                                index.htm

December 2007                                                                                         women 2000 and beyond

were highly responsive to sports-tar-        prevention and resolution of conflicts
geted initiatives.48 This is an important    and in peacebuilding, as reaffirmed                  Reducing stress
finding since women now represent            in Security Council resolution 1325.51             conditions through
half of all people living with HIV, nearly   The power of sport and its inclusive             physical activity among
60 per cent of all infections in Africa      nature makes it a good tool to increase             women in Bosnia-
and 77 per cent of new HIV infections        knowledge, understanding and aware-                   Herzegovina
among young people in Africa.49              ness about peaceful coexistence. Sport
                                             could be more effectively used in the            Dr. Fadila Ibrahimbegovic-Gafic
   Ways in which sport can contrib-
                                             context of follow-up to Security Council         from the University of Sarajevo
ute to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS
                                             resolution 1325.                                 assessed the initial physical and
include, for example, sports leagues
                                                                                              mental conditions of 70 women
and matches that provide a forum for
                                                                                              and conducted a physical activity
public information campaigns on pre-
                                                    Programmes using                          programme that aimed to reduce
vention and protection, and a safe and
                                                    sport as a vehicle                        stress conditions in women aged
supportive environment among teams
                                                    to promote peace,                         40-55 in war-stricken areas of
and organizations to encourage open
                                                      tolerance and                           Bosnia-Herzegovina. The pro-
discussion about HIV/AIDS and sexual
                                                      understanding                           gramme succeeded not only in
                                                                                              reducing stress but also in chang-
   Sport can provide a critical space           In 2003, “Sport pour la Paix”                 ing attitudes towards physical
to build a culture of peace in countries        (“Sport for Peace”) was launched              exercise and its effects on physi-
emerging from conflict. Through its             in Côte d’Ivoire to bring together            cal recovery.
power to bring people together across           over 1,600 young people, a third                  Source: Oglesby, Carole A., in
boundaries, cultures and religions, it can      of them girls, from different eth-            collaboration with the International
promote tolerance and reconciliation.           nic, political and religious groups           Working Group on Women and
Women play an important role in the             after years of conflict.                      Sport, WomenSport International,
                                                                                              the International Association of
                                                   Source: Schaub Reisle, Maia                Physical Education for Women
                                                (2005), “Sport as tool for peace              and Girls, and the International
      Raising awareness                         building”. In Tip Sheet. Bern:                Council of Sport Science and
   in the sport community                       Swiss Agency for Development                  Physical Education (2006). Posi-
       about HIV/AIDS                                                                         tive Embodiment: Contributions
                                                and Cooperation, SDC Conflict                 of Sport, Exercise and Physical
   In 2004, the United Nations                  Prevention and Transformation                 Recreation to the Life-long De-
   Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS                  Division (COPRET). Available                  velopment of Girls and Women.
   (UNAIDS) signed a Memoran-                   from http://www.deza.ch/de/                   (Brief prepared for the Division for
                                                Home/Themes/Conflict_pre-                     the Advancement of Women.)
   dum of Understanding with the
   International Olympic Committee              vention_and_transformation/
   to combine their efforts to raise            Violence_prevention/ressources/
   awareness about HIV/AIDS, par-               resource_en_92813.pdf                          The promotion of education can
   ticularly among the sport com-                  “Kicking for Reconciliation!”,          also be facilitated by sport. Sports
   munity. Following this initiative,           a project in Rwanda by Women               teams and organizations, as well as
   an HIV-positive woman from                   Without Borders, aims to provide           local, national and international compe-
   South Africa, Musa Njoko, one of             football training to 160 Hutu and          titions, provide an excellent opportunity
   the first South African women to             Tutsi girls together, with a focus         to provide information and knowledge
   publicly disclose her HIV status,            on self-confidence, self-awareness
                                                                                           on the importance of girls’ education.
   was nominated by UNAIDS to                   and trauma healing, so that they
                                                                                           In particular, sport can be a useful tool
   participate in the Olympic Torch             may contribute to the establish-
   Relay held in Cape Town in June                                                         to expand educational opportunities
                                                ment of a peaceful and modern
   2004.                                        society in their country.                  for children who are not able to go to
                                                                                           school or who only attend on an irregu-
       Source: Right to Play (2004).                S o u r c e : Wo m e n W i t h o u t
   Harnessing the Power of Sport for                                                       lar basis.
                                                Borders (2005). Rwanda: Kicking
   Development and Peace. Greece:               for Reconciliation! Vienna, Austria:           Research on the impact of physical
   Position Paper presented at the              A Women Without Borders Football           education on academic performance is
   Athens Roundtable Forum on                   for Girls’ Project in Kigali. Available    also emerging. The interlinkages between
   14 August 2004. Available from               from http://www.women-without-
   http://www.sportanddev.org/data/             borders.org/projects/underway/18/          perceptual, cognitive and motor develop-
   document/document/15.pdf                                                                ment are such that many argue that phys-
                                                                                           ical activity such as physical education

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                                  December 2007

and sport is critical for optimal learning.
Research findings indicate that:                            Challenging                           Coaching boys into men
• Physical activity has positive effects                     stereotypes
                                                            and reducing                          As part of the Fédération Inter-
    on the ability to concentrate;                                                                nationale de Football Association
• An increase in physical activity can                     discrimination
                                                                                                  (FIFA) and UNICEF Unite for Chil-
    lead to improvements in problem-              Given that sport was traditionally a            dren, Unite for Peace campaign,
    solving skills and improved aca-              male domain, the participation of women         a manual for football coaches,
    demic results; and                            and girls in sport challenges a multi-          “Coaching Boys Into Men”, was
• There is a high correlation between             tude of gender stereotypes, not only            launched during the 2006 World
    high standardized test scores and             those related to physical ability but also      Cup. In recognition that coaches
    high fitness scores.52                        those regarding women’s role in local           can have a unique role in address-
    Studies in the United States, for             communities and society at large. By            ing issues of violence and dis-
example, have also pointed to a posi-             directly challenging and dispelling mis-        crimination, particularly against
tive relationship between girls’ par-             conceptions about women’s capabili-             women and girls, the manual is
ticipation in sport, positive attitudes           ties, integrated sport programmes help          intended to help coaches talk to
towards education and higher aca-                 to reduce discrimination and broaden            young athletes about tolerance
demic achievements. 53 Gender-                    the role prescribed to women.54 An              and teach them that violence
sensitive programmes that suc -                   increase of women in leadership posi-           does not equal strength.
cessfully increase girls’ participation           tions in sport can also have a significant
                                                                                                     Source: United Nations
in sport therefore have the potential             influence on social attitudes towards           Children’s Fund (2006). UNICEF
to positively influence girls’ academic           women’s capabilities as leaders and             and FIFA partnership for 2006 FIFA
performance.                                      decision makers.                                World Cup Germany highlights
                                                                                                  peace and tolerance. United
                                                                                                  Kingdom: UNICEF News. Available
           Promoting girls’                                                                       from      http://www.unicef.org.
              education                                                                           uk/press/news_detail_full_story.
            through sport                               Sport as a catalyst
     A UNICEF project links sport to
                                                      for challenging gender
                                                            stereotypes                           Girls’ participation in sport car-
     girls’ education based on the                                                             ries with it an enormous potential for
     belief that sport, like education,              The Population Council operates           positive impact on attitudes towards
     can help girls become equal                     a community-based programme,              gender equality among the younger
     players in society. On 11 Octo-                 “Safe Spaces to Learn, Play and           generation. An analysis of the Mathare
     ber 2003, Global Girls’ Football                Grow”, in rural Egypt through             Youth Sports Association in Kenya
     Day, UNICEF country offices                     NGO and government partners               found that although boys in the Associ-
     and national associations of the                that provide protected spaces,            ation expressed stereotypical attitudes
     Fédération Internationale de                    such as schools or youth centres,         to the girl soccer players (for example,
     Football Association (FIFA) came                where girls meet for learning and         that girls do not learn quickly, are fragile
     together to mobilize efforts for                recreation. The programme aims            and give up easily), seeing girls achieve
     girls’ education through the power              to challenge traditional concepts         success in soccer, which had previously
     of sport. That same year, FIFA                  of gender-appropriate behaviour           been a male domain, had begun to
     dedicated its Women’s World                     by incorporating sport and recrea-        reshape their notions about girls’ roles
     Cup to UNICEF’s Go Girls! Edu-                  tion activities, along with literacy,     and capabilities.55
     cation for Every Child campaign.                life-skills training and reproduc-
     Go Girls! was seen and heard                                                                 The sports arena provides an oppor-
                                                     tive health awareness.
     throughout the tournament in                                                              tunity to reach out to men and boys on
                                                        Source: Brady, Martha (2005).          issues related to stereotypical attitudes
     a variety of ways—from sta-                     “Letting girls play: Using sport
     dium announcements and video                                                              and gender-based discrimination and
                                                     to create safe spaces and build
     screenings to match programmes                                 ”
                                                     social assets. In Promoting               violence. The broad participation of men
     and web pages.                                  healthy, safe, and productive             and boys in sport, as both athletes and
                                                     transitions to adulthood, Brief           spectators, provides a powerful forum
         S o u r c e : U N I C E F. S p o r t ,      No. 1, May 2005. New York:                for educating and informing men and
     Education and Girls. Available                  Population Council. Available from
     from        http://www.unicef.org/              http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/           boys on a variety of issues, including
     girlseducation/campaign_sport_                  TABriefs/GFD_BRIEF1_SPORTS_               violence against women and girls, and
     education_girls.html                            update.pdf                                for breaking down entrenched attitudes
                                                                                               and stereotypical behaviours. Male ath-

December 2007                                                                                          women 2000 and beyond

letes who speak out on such issues can
be particularly effective given their posi-                     Football teams raising awareness
tion as role models in the community.                              of violence against women
    Role models of women in sport,
                                                In 2005, top football teams from Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali and Cartagena
including star women athletes, such as          in Colombia supported White Ribbon Day, the International Day against
Nellie Kim (Russian Federation—gym-             Violence against Women, by displaying placards in their stadiums for the
nastics), Mia Hamm (USA—soccer),                campaign before their championship matches in order to raise awareness
Takahashi Naoko (Japan—marathon                 about all forms of violence against women.
runner), Kirsten Bruhn (Germany—
swimmer), Hortencia Maria de Fatima                 Source: United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace
                                                (2005). United Nations Sports Bulletin, No. 4, 15 June. New York. Available
Marcari (Brazil—soccer) and Maria               from http://www.un.org/sport2005/newsroom/bulletin/united_nations_sport_
Sharapova (Russian Federation—ten-              bulletin_4_15_june_05.pdf
nis), also play a central role in challeng-
ing stereotypes. Nawal El Moutawakel                                                                     University of Toronto, Canada,
(Morocco—hurdles) recognizes her                         Addressing                                    and former Regional Coordinator
position as a role model for women,                                                                    for International Council of Sport
                                                           gender                                       Science and Physical Education,
especially Muslim women, and says                                                                                 North America (1999).
that her main function as a member of                   inequalities
the International Olympic Committee                       in sport                         In order to realize the full potential for
is “to encourage more women to par-                                                        sport as a vehicle for gender equality
ticipate in sport worldwide.”56 Serena                                                     and the empowerment of women and
                                                  “It is heartening that so many pub-
Williams, motivated by her participa-                                                      girls, gender inequality in sport must be
                                               lic and voluntary sports and physi-
tion in the United Nations Global Youth                                                    addressed. The prevalence of gender-
                                               cal education organizations have
Leadership Summit, held in New York                                                        based discrimination in sport mirrors
                                               embraced the challenge of gender
from 29 to 31 October 2006, under-                                                         traditional gender stereotypes and rein-
                                               equality. It means that more and
took a mission to Ghana and Senegal                                                        forces gender inequalities. Opportuni-
                                               more girls and women may receive
to highlight the role of sport, youth,                                                     ties for women and girls to participate
                                               the same benefits which boys and
and empowerment of women and                                                               in sport may be restricted. Even when
                                               men have enjoyed for years, and
girls in achieving the MDGs.57                                                             participation is allowed, the dynam-
                                               their fair share of the social resources
                                                                                           ics of gender relations and notions of
   The potential for sport to contribute       available . . . It is not enough simply
                                                                                           masculinity and femininity may result in
to the social, economic and political          to extend the programs which males
                                               have enjoyed to females. Given the          gender segregation in different types of
empowerment of women and girls
                                               differences in needs, interests and         sport and physical education. Inequali-
is clear and has been recognized by
                                               circumstances, and the diversity of         ties also exist in access to resources,
Governments, the United Nations
                                               the female population, it will require      wages and financial incentives and in
system, NGOs and other actors. The
                                               careful ‘needs based’ planning and          media representation of women ath-
task ahead is to act on this recogni-
                                               innovative programming.”                    letes and women’s sport. The lack of
tion and bring the benefits of sport
                                                                                           women and girls in decision-making
and physical education to women and           —Professor Bruce Kidd, Dean of the Faculty   and leadership positions, as well as
girls throughout the world.                            of Physical Education and Health,
                                                                                           exploitation, harassment and violence
                                                                                           against women and girls, is also preva-
                                                                                           lent in sport and the commercial sport-
             Promoting role models in South America
                                                                                           ing industry.
                       and the Caribbean
   The Women and Sport Working Group in Guyana, established under the Min-
   istry of Culture, Youth and Sports, promoted women role models in sport dur-
   ing Guyana’s 2001 International Women’s Day celebrations. They organized a                          Access
   “Female Cavalcade of Sport”, which showcased females in 15 different sports                    and participation
   with approximately 300 athletes taking part. The Working Group also produced
                                                                                           Although restrictions on women’s and
   a television programme of highlights of women in sport at all levels.
                                                                                           girls’ access to and participation in sport
      Source: International Working Group on Women and Sport (2002). Women                 have been present throughout history,
   and Sport Progress Report 1998-2002. Bonn, Germany. Available from http://              gradual progress has been achieved. In
                                                                                           1900, the first 19 women competed in
                                                                                           the modern Olympic Games in Paris in

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                         December 2007

                                                                                       way for women to qualify for the PBA
                       Sports legislation for women                                    Tour and, in 2006, Kelly Kulick became
                                in Hungary                                             the first woman to qualify for a season-
                                                                                       long exemption.62
     The “Law of Sports”, enacted by the Hungarian Parliament in December
                                                                                          Although some physical barriers to
     2000, ensured equal opportunities for men and women and for boys and
                                                                                       women’s participation in sport are com-
     girls to choose and participate in sport, contribute to the development of
                                                                                       mon across the world, including a wide-
     leadership in sport and enjoy funding to execute different sport programmes.
                                                                                       spread lack of appropriate facilities and
     It also required all sporting organizations, foundations, federations and com-
                                                                                       resources, it is also important to rec-
     mittees to raise the participation of women to 10 per cent by November
                                                                                       ognize that participation varies across
     2001, 20 per cent by November 2002, 30 per cent by November 2003 and
                                                                                       time and space and many constraints
     35 per cent by November 2004.
                                                                                       are context-specific. For example, par-
        Source: International Working Group on Women and Sport (2002).                 ticular restrictions on women’s mobility
     Women and Sport Progress Report 1998-2002. Bonn, Germany. Available               in some countries can make it difficult
     from http://www.canada2002.org/e/progress/worldwide/chapter3_america.
                                                                                       for them to take part in events held in
                                                                                       public spaces.
                                                                                           Sport clothing has been a constant
just three sports—tennis, golf and cro-                                                area of controversy and resistance to
quet.58 By the 2004 Olympic Games                                                      women’s participation in sport. In 1931,
                                                   The International                   Lili de Álvarez (Spain) shocked social
in Athens, women competed in 26 out               Olympic Committee’s
of 28 sports and represented 40.7 per                                                  propriety by playing Wimbledon in
                                                   Women and Sport                     shorts instead of the long dresses that
cent of the total number of athletes,                   Trophy
setting a historical record for women’s                                                women tennis players were expected
participation in the Olympic Games.59           The International Olympic Com-         to wear. Sporting accessories have tra-
Such progress has been spurred on by            mittee’s Women and Sport               ditionally been designed for use by men
women athletes, as well as Govern-              Trophy, introduced in 2000, is
ments and civil society organizations           awarded annually to promote
that have advocated for gender equal-           the advancement of women in                        Pakistan
ity in sport and sought to address the          sport and recognize outstanding                mini-marathon
many physical and social barriers to the        achievement and contributions                overcomes obstacles
full participation of women and girls.          made to develop, encourage                      facing women
                                                and strengthen the participation
                                                                                          The Human Rights Commission
           Physical barriers                    of women and girls at all levels
                                                                                          of Pakistan and the Joint Action
          to the participation                  in the sports world. The world
                                                                                          Committee for People’s Rights
      of women and girls in sport               trophy for 2006 was awarded to
                                                                                          organized a symbolic mini-
                                                Argentinean tennis player Gabriela
Women continue to be discriminated                                                        marathon on 21 May 2005 in
                                                Sabatini. In addition, five regional
against in official regulations of interna-                                               Pakistan to challenge arbitrary
                                                trophies were presented: Alber-
tional competitions and rules of major                                                    curbs on women’s public par-
                                                tine Barbosa Andrade (Senegal/
sporting facilities. The Augusta National                                                 ticipation in sport and to highlight
                                                Africa—cycling), Ch a r m a i n e
Golf Club in the United States, which                                                     rising violence against women.
                                                Crooks (Canada/Americas —
hosts the annual Masters Tournament,                                                      About 500 mostly middle-aged
                                                sprinting), Elisa Lee (Korea/
continues to uphold its men-only                                                          men and women jogged through
                                                Asia—table tennis), Dominique
membership policy. This has led to                                                        a police-lined street of Lahore,
                                                Petit (France/Europe—volleyball)
strong opposition by national wom-                                                        just a week after police had used
                                                and Lorraine Mar (Fiji/Oceania–
en’s organizations and women’s rights                                                     force to halt the first attempt at a
activists.60 Progress is, however, being                                                  mixed-sex race.
                                                    Source: Gabriela Sabatini, win-
made in other institutions. For example,                                                      Source: United Nations Office
                                                ner of the world IOC Women and
the 250-year-old Royal & Ancient Club                                                     of Sport for Development and Peace
                                                Sport Trophy. In official website of      (2005). United Nations Sports
in Scotland, considered the world’s
                                                the Olympic Movement. Available           Bulletin, No. 4, 15 June. New York.
leading authority on golf, lifted a long-
                                                from http://www.olympic.org/uk/           Available from http://www.un.org/
standing ban on women playing at the                                                      sport2005/newsroom/bulletin/
Open Championship in 2005.61 Also, in                                                     united_nations_sport_bulletin_4_
2004, the United States Professional                                                      15_june_05.pdf
Bowlers Association (PBA) opened the

December 2007                                                                                       women 2000 and beyond

and, for example, it was not until 1996
that Spalding Sports introduced the first                               Clothing and girls’
baseball glove specifically designed for                               participation in sport
a woman’s hand.63 The issue of cloth-
ing can also be a constraint where              “Play Soccer”, an NGO that offers football programmes for girls and boys
socio-economic conditions mean that             in Zambia, recognized that a lack of clothing was prohibiting some children
women and girls are unable to afford            from participating. The programme provided shorts that children, especially
appropriate sporting attire.                    girls, could wear during games, thereby enabling girls to move from specta-
                                                tors to active participants.
    Sporting attire may present a partic-
ular problem for Muslim women when                Source: Meier, Marianne (2005). Gender Equity, Sport and Development.
dress codes prohibit them from wearing          Geneva, Switzerland: Swiss Academy for Development.
Western-style sport clothes. This issue
is a concern not only for local commu-       Sarah Hillyer, coach of the American               Stereotypical attitudes
nity sports, but also for Muslim women       team, the games have been successful                   towards women
participating in international events. For   in providing a venue for Muslim women                 and girls in sport
example, the Algerian Hassiba Boul-          to celebrate self-expression and develop    Social constraints are a further impedi-
merka, who won the 1,500 metres              self-confidence. 67 In non-Muslim           ment to access to and participation
in the 1992 Olympic Games wearing            countries, it can be difficult for Muslim   in sport and physical education by
shorts, was forced into exile following      women to participate in sport because       women and girls. Some constraints are
the Games because of death threats.64        of the lack of segregated facilities.68     similar throughout the world, such as
On the other hand, Iranian women                The physical barriers to the partici-    the perception that women’s physical
competed in kayaking in the hijab at the     pation of women and girls in sport can      capabilities are inferior and the unequal
1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.65 To          be overcome with a gender-sensitive         sharing of household work and child-
provide suitable conditions for the par-     approach to the redesign of existing        care responsibilities which imposes
ticipation of women in sporting activi-      facilities, the planning of new infra-      constraints on women’s involvement in
ties in compliance with Islamic codes,       structure, and the rules and regulations    community activities, including sport.
the Women Islamic Games, organized           of sporting events and institutions. For       A common social constraint is the
by the Islamic Federation of Women           example, the schedule of activities         stereotyping of sport as “masculine”
Sport, were created.66 According to          held in a community sports hall can         or “feminine”, which affects both
                                             be changed to allow women and girls         male and female participation, and can
                                             access at convenient times. When a          be difficult to overcome. Men can be
         Sports clothes                      new sport complex is built, it can be       branded as “effeminate” if they abstain
       for Muslim women                      designed as a space that encourages         from sporting activities, and women are
                                             women and girls to participate, for         often channelled into “aesthetic” sports,
   Women playing volleyball at a
                                             example, by providing separate chang-       such as gymnastics and ice-skating,
   camp for displaced Somalis in
                                             ing facilities. In addition, policies can   where traits perceived as “female” are
   Kenya have encountered consid-
                                             be developed that ensure that existing      exhibited. Accepted norms of behav-
   erable pressure from their com-
                                             facilities emphasize sport for all and      iour that expect women to be “ladylike”
   munity because of dress codes.
                                             explicitly welcome women and girls.69       and demure excludes women in some
   In response, the Office of the
   United Nations High Commis-
   sioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has
   worked with Nike and other pri-                                     Building sports
   vate companies to design sport-                          infrastructure for women in Ecuador
   ing apparel that is comfortable              In 2000, the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee opened the Juan Antonio
   and practical for sport but which            Samaranch Women’s Sports Centre—a sport centre exclusively for
   keeps within the dress code                  women—which offers courses in table tennis, volleyball, basketball and
   acceptable to communities.                   aerobic gymnastics. The Centre is named after the former President of
       Source: UNHCR (2005).                    the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in recognition of his commit-
   Designers on a mission: dressing             ment to the participation of women in the Olympic Games and his role as
   refugee girls for sports. Available          the first IOC President to name a woman to the Executive Board.
   from http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/
   texis/vtx/news/opendoc.htm?tbl=                 Source: International Working Group on Women and Sport (2002). Women
   NEWS&page=home&id=42cbed                     and Sport Progress Report 1998-2002. Bonn, Germany. Available from http://
   364                                          www.canada2002.org/e/progress/worldwide/chapter3_america.htm

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                           December 2007

         Ice hockey for women and girls in the Himalayas                                        The Commission
     A recent film, Thin Ice, documents the efforts of women and girls in the
                                                                                              on Women and Sports
     Himalayas to play ice hockey. Since ice hockey was traditionally a male
                                                                                                  in Ecuador
     sport, women and girls were not encouraged to participate. Women cre-                  The Commission on Women and
     ated their own women’s ice hockey team which brings together girls from                Sports, established by the Ecua-
     different groups and backgrounds. The women and girls make their own ice               dorian Olympic Committee in
     courts and skates. They have successfully challenged many stereotypes                  1998, tries to influence social atti-
     around this sport.                                                                     tudes by promoting educational
         Source: Håkan Berthas, Frederik Gertten & Margarete Jangard (2007). Thin           activities on the role of women
     Ice, a film by WG Film/Sveriges Television. Sweden.                                    and their situation in sport. The
                                                                                            Commission’s activities include:

contexts from participation in sporting       ciation champion from France, dispels         • Providing special funds to
activities that exhibit traditional male      the myths surrounding women’s partic-           promote sport for women;
characteristics, especially contact sports    ipation in “painful” sports. On Interna-      • Offering information courses
(such as rugby) and “painful” sports          tional Women’s Day 2006, she stated,            to discuss the future of
(such as boxing).70 When women and            “A woman who can box is a woman                 women in sport;
girls do engage in such sports, they can      who can fight—at once capable of giv-         • Organizing conferences and
be labelled with negative traits, such as     ing life and of defending it, in the true       other events to increase wom-
being “manly” or “unfeminine”.                sense of the word. I am strong and              en’s participation in sport;
    Sport provides opportunities for          feminine, vulnerable and active.”72           • Creating regional and local
addressing discrimination faced by               Stereotypes can greatly affect the           networks that encourage
particular groups of women and girls.         attitudes of men towards women and              women to participate in sport;
Women and girls with disabilities, for        their role in sport. The attitudes of           and
example, are frequently subject to mul-       parents are particularly important for        • Undertaking research and col-
tiple forms of discrimination. A prevail-     promoting girls’ participation in sport.        lecting data on women and
ing code of silence71 may result in fears     While some fathers strongly resist their        sport in order to monitor and
of homophobia, preventing women and           daughter’s participation, others are            maintain progress.
girls from participating fully in sport and   gradually accepting it, such as Rajku-           Source: International Working
achieving positive benefits.                  mar Singh, a poor farmer in the Indian        Group on Women and Sport
  Some leading sport figures are              state of Bihar, who admitted: “Initially,     (2002). Women and Sport
                                                                                            Progress Report 1998-2002. Bonn,
challenging such traditional notions of       I had a lot of doubts. But today I feel
                                                                                            Germany. Available from http://
what it means to be a woman athlete.          proud of being father to two national         www.canada2002.org/e/progress/
Myriam Lamare, a World Boxing Asso-           football-playing daughters . . .”73           worldwide/chapter3_america.htm

                   Studying attitudes towards women                                          The attitudes of women and girls
                       and girls in sport in India                                        towards sport can also be restrictive.
                                                                                          Women and girls may not have devel-
     A study was carried out in rural and urban India by the Indira Gandhi Insti-         oped an understanding of the intrinsic
     tute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences on the attitudes of parents,          value of sport and its contribution to
     teachers and coaches towards female participation in sport. The findings             personal development and well-being,
     indicated that policies are needed at the local level to support and protect         or of their rights and potential in this
     women’s participation in sport and, in particular, efforts are required to           area. Women and girls may also have
     remove misconceptions related to women’s participation in sport and the              internalized many negative percep-
     impact of sport on women’s health.                                                   tions of women and sport. Advocates
        Source: Oglesby, Carole A., in collaboration with the International Working       are trying to change this perception,
     Group on Women and Sport, WomenSport International, the International                including Anita DeFrantz, Chairperson
     Association of Physical Education for Women and Girls, and the International         of the International Olympic Commit-
     Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (2006). Positive Embodiment:
     Contributions of Sport, Exercise and Physical Recreation to the Life-long            tee’s Women and Sport Commission,
     Development of Girls and Women. (Brief prepared for the Division for the             who promotes the idea that “sport is
     Advancement of Women.)                                                               a birthright [and] belongs to all human

December 2007                                                                                      women 2000 and beyond

                                                                                            This type of practice is also common
              Raising awareness of sports and women                                     at the community level. A study on
                       in local communities                                             a youth and sport initiative by the
                                                                                        Mathare Youth Sports Association
   In Lithuania, the National Women and Sport Association used athletic festivals       in Kenya found that boys were given
   to raise awareness about women and sport, and established women’s sport-             priority in access to opportunities and
   ing days that demonstrate women’s willingness and ability to coordinate              resources, such as preferred schedules
   sporting competitions and ceremonies. In West Bengal, local community-               and playing fields. To address such prac-
   based NGOs developed a project to raise awareness of community sport                 tices, a gender-sensitive analysis of all
   and health development through local campaigns and training for women.
                                                                                        areas of an organization’s activities and
   The project also involved developing basic infrastructure for girls in com-
                                                                                        operations can help to identify deeply
   munity sport—such as playgrounds and gyms—and building a database on
                                                                                        entrenched attitudes and behaviours
   community sport for girls.
                                                                                        that discriminate against women and
      Source: International Working Group on Women and Sport (2002). Women              girls.
   and Sport Progress Report 1998-2002. Bonn, Germany. Available from http://
   www.canada2002.org/e/progress/worldwide/chapter3_america.htm                             Stereotypical attitudes towards
                                                                                        the value of women’s sport also fuel
                                                                                        inequality in wages, prizes and other
   Historical attitudes and the absence     tion of physical resources for women’s      financial incentives. For example, the
of gender stereotypes in sport have         sport. Resources are often less or of       average salary in the United States
been recognized as an important factor      a lower standard than those provided        Women’s National Basketball Associa-
in the remarkable success of Chinese        to their male counterparts and, when        tion (WNBA) is only 2 per cent of the
women athletes in international com-        resources such as equipment or play-        all-male National Basketball Associa-
petitions. Such attitudes are reflected     ing fields are shared, men’s teams          tion’s (NBA) average.77 Furthermore,
in the prioritization of elite women’s      are often given priority. For example,      although many international competi-
sport by the Chinese Government. At         the men’s and women’s singles finals        tions have achieved equality in prize
the same time, however, women are           at the Wimbledon Tennis Champion-           monies, including the French, Austral-
underrepresented in sport administra-       ships are both supposed to be held on       ian, Wimbledon and US Tennis Opens,
                                            Centre Court, the centrepiece of the        others continue to offer different
tion, coaching and other decision-
                                            championships. When, however, post-         rewards for men and women. In 2007,
making positions in China.75
                                            ponements due to weather or other
   Stereotypical attitudes towards                                                      for the first time, Wimbledon offered
                                            factors result in the matches being
women and girls and traditional gender                                                  equal prize money for the men’s and
                                            played simultaneously, the women’s
roles are also prevalent in the organiza-                                               women’s singles winner.78
                                            match will invariably be relocated to
tional cultures of sporting bodies—the      No. 1 Court. This is rationalized as part       Commercial endorsements and
norms, values, power dynamics and           of Wimbledon’s efforts to “have the         sponsorships are also an important part
practices that underlie the way such        most attractive matches played on the       of a professional athlete’s salary and
bodies and institutions do their work.      courts with the most spectator accom-       career development. In general, it is
This often results in unequal alloca-       modation”.76                                an area where women receive far less
                                                                                        support than their male counterparts,
                                                                                        but there are some examples of female
             Changing gender norms and stereotypes                                      athletes breaking ground. The Russian
                                                                                        tennis star Maria Sharapova has signed
   The Mathare Youth Sports Association in Kenya initially followed gender              deals with Nike, Canon and Motorola
   norms in the division of labour for organizational tasks, for example, by mak-
                                                                                        and is worth an estimated US$ 18.2
   ing girls responsible for washing the football shirts and looking after younger
                                                                                        million, making her the world’s best-
   children, while the boys handled the sport equipment and did maintenance
                                                                                        compensated female athlete.79 This
   chores. Following a series of gender-training workshops, the organization
                                                                                        trend is reflected in the Forbes 2006
   made concerted efforts to redefine the responsibilities of girls and boys and
                                                                                        list of top-earning athletes, which has
   to share tasks equally.
                                                                                        five women placed in the top 25.80 As
       Source: Brady, Martha (2005). Letting girls play: Using sport to create safe     more women athletes obtain such
   spaces and build social assets. In Promoting healthy, safe, and productive
   transitions to adulthood, Brief No. 1, May 2005. New York: Population
                                                                                        high-paying endorsements, greater
   Council. Available from http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/TABriefs/GFD_BRIEF1_          recognition of women athletes as
   SPORTS_update.pdf                                                                    major-league players is likely to fol-

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                                       December 2007

        Wimbledon 2005 Prize Money Summary (GB£)                                                Sport for older women
                                  2006        2005      Increase     2004      Increase        The Egyptian Government pro-
  Gentlemen’s Singles winner    £655,000     £630,000     4%       £602,500      4.6%          moted older women’s participa-
                                                                                               tion in sport and physical activity
  Ladies’ Singles winner        £625,000     £600,000     4%       £560,500      7.0%
                                                                                               by establishing 37 sports centres
  Gentlemen’s Doubles winners £220,690       £218,500     1%        £215,000     1.4%
                                                                                               for women over 35 years of age.
  Ladies’ Doubles winners       £205,280     £203,250     1%       £200,000      1.6%          In each centre, around 150 women
  Mixed Doubles winners          £90,000      £90,000      —         £90,000      —            play basketball, volleyball, table
                                                                                               tennis and other forms of recrea-
        Source: 2007 Wimbledon Prize Money. Wimbledon, The Official Website.                   tional activities. In China, many
     Available from http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/about/guide/prizemoney.html                 older women visit local parks
                                                                                               to participate in group exercise,
                                                                                               ranging from t’ai chi to ballroom
     Sport and physical education                 Women face specific challenges               dancing. Through these activities
       throughout the life cycle              to access and participate in sport and           they can improve their health and
                                              physical activity throughout the differ-         fitness at the same time as they
Despite all the evidence on the benefits
                                              ent stages of the life cycle. While it is        build social networks. These net-
of an active lifestyle, including physical
                                              increasingly understood in many parts            works are increasingly important
education and sport, for women and
                                              of the world that older women must               due to shifts in demographics
girls, the percentage of women who
                                              engage in physical education and sport           and family structures—tradition-
describe themselves as physically
                                              in order to add “years to life” and “life        ally, older people used to live with
active remains low. As powerful as the
                                              to years”, many older women continue             their children, whereas today,
rationales and motivation for physical
                                              to live sedentary lifestyles. Strategies to      over 23 per cent of the elderly
activity may be, the barriers faced by
                                              address this must identify and address           live alone.
women can be overwhelming. These
can include traditional perceptions that      the particular barriers older women face              Source: Oglesby, Carole A., in
sweating and defined musculature              and must tailor programmes to their              collaboration with the International
are inappropriate for women; the lack         specific needs and priorities.82 For older       Working Group on Women and
                                                                                               Sport, WomenSport International,
of culturally relevant role models; the       women, a lack of knowledge on the
                                                                                               t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l As s o c i a t i o n
scarcity of facilities offering women-        benefits of sport and physical activity          of Physical Education for
friendly equipment and programmes;            is a significant barrier to increased par-       Women and Girls, and the
the lack of free time due to work and         ticipation, as are stereotypical attitudes       International Council of Sport
family responsibilities; worries about        towards older persons, inadequate                Science and Physical Education
                                                                                               (2006). Positive Embodiment:
safety; and shame and embarrassment           community infrastructure and sport pro-          Contributions of Sport, Exercise
about present appearance and capabili-        grammes, and illnesses and conditions            and Physical Recreation to the
ties.81                                       that affect movement and agility.                Life-long Development of Girls
                                                                                               and Women (brief prepared for
                                                                                               the Division for the Advancement
                                                                                               of Women); and “China’s break-
            Promoting participation in sport in Malaysia                                       dancing grandmother” In BBC       .
                                                                                               News. 10 April 2005. Available
     The Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation in Malaysia is an NGO estab-                    from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
     lished in 1995 to pursue the empowerment of women through sport and                       asia-pacific/4424789.stm
     physical activities. The Foundation has established, together with the Min-
     istry of Sport, the biannual National Women’s Games (2005 and 2007).                      For women of childbearing age, there
     Participants in the 2nd National Women’s Games competed in 12 sports.                  are particular issues surrounding preg-
     A total of 5,000 athletes and officials attended. Through the well-managed             nancy and childbirth. During a National
     programme of the Foundation, women of all ages and from all walks of life              Sport and Pregnancy Forum in Australia
     have the possibility to participate in a wide range of activities, ranging from        in 2001, it was noted that the benefits
     sport for all activities to high-performance sports. In addition, the Founda-          of staying active and continuing sport
     tion organizes women’s coaching training throughout the country, and many              at some level throughout pregnancy
     women have obtained paid positions as coaches.                                         outweigh the potential risks. Experts
        Source: Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation in Malaysia. Website.                 also noted that there are several clear
     Available from http://www.wsffm.com/index.php                                          steps sporting organizations can take to
                                                                                            minimize any risk of liability, for exam-

December 2007                                                                                       women 2000 and beyond

ple, by alerting pregnant sportswomen
that there are possible risks involved                  Maternity rights for Poland’s sportswomen
in their participation and in obtaining
appropriate releases and/or indemni-           Recognizing that the overwhelming majority of sportswomen abandoned
ties if they should choose to continue         further involvement in sport after giving birth to a child, Poland introduced an
to participate. In most circumstances,         anti-discrimination provision in the Qualified Sports Act in 2005. The provi-
Australia’s Sex Discrimination Act 1984        sion ensures that sportswomen receive a sport stipend in the full amount
effectively means that sporting admin-         for the duration of their pregnancy and half the amount of the stipend for six
istrators cannot ban the continued par-        months following childbirth.
ticipation of pregnant sportswomen.               Source: Introductory statement by Mrs. Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska, Under-
Nevertheless, in most countries, preg-         Secretary of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic
nancy and childbirth often mean that           of Poland to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against
                                               Women, thirty-seventh session, 16 January 2007   .
women do not continue to compete in
professional sport.83
   The relationship between sport and        eral density and a higher risk for oste-   • Create girls-only spaces that are
the body raises particular issues for ado-   oporosis. This pattern of disordered         safe from both physical and emo-
lescents and young women. In some            eating, disrupted menstrual cycles and       tional dangers and provide girls with
cultural settings, the onset of menstrua-    osteoporosis is known as the “female         an arena for self-expression that is
tion can be a barrier to adolescent girls’   athlete triad”.88                            not hindered by male domination or
school attendance and, similarly, girls’        The female athlete triad is an issue      authority.
participation in sport and physical educa-   that the International Olympic Com-        • Seek parental and community per-
tion. In sub-Saharan Africa, researchers     mittee Medical Commission’s Work-            mission for girls’ participation prior
have documented that lack of sanitary        ing Group on Women in Sport has              to launching a programme, which
products, clean, girls-only latrines and     examined closely. They noted that it is      will enhance girls’ ability to take
water for washing hands results in a         the responsibility of team physicians        part.
significant number of girls not attending    to ensure the health and safety of ath-    • Enlist female coaches, referees and
school.84 Estimates by UNICEF show           letes by educating athletes, coaches         trainers. Developing a talent pool of
that one in 10 school-age African girls      and parents about the issue; recogniz-       female leaders is an urgent need in
either skips school during menstruation      ing symptoms of eating disorders; pre-       most developing countries.
or drops out entirely because of lack of     venting activities that place pressure     • Identify a few key health issues that
sanitation.85                                on athletes to lose weight; and provid-      need to be addressed, and tailor a
   The heavy focus on the body in            ing adequate treatment for conditions        simple health education programme
sport, including in the context of the       associated with the triad. 89 Wom-           around them.91
sexualized promotion of female ath-          enSport International has also been           For high school and collegiate girls
letes, may lead to poor body image,          active in this area and has appointed      and young women in the United States,
particularly among adolescent girls.86       a task force to educate athletes and       the enactment of Title IX in 1972, a
The pressure to meet unrealistic             those responsible for their welfare        federal law that prohibits sex discrimi-
                                             about the dangers of the triad. 90         nation in education programmes and
weight or body fat levels can result
in excessive dieting that may in turn            Sport programmes should also take      activities at any federally funded edu-
lead to serious eating disorders such        into consideration the specific needs of   cational institution, has had significant
as anorexia nervosa or bulimia ner-          girls. Lessons learned from a series of    impact on girls’ participation in sport.
vosa. The number of females who              sporting activities piloted by the Popu-       Despite a rapid increase of girls in
exhibit restrictive eating behaviour,        lation Council suggest that successfully   high school sport after the passage of
which does not necessarily meet the          designing a girls’ sport programme         Title IX, the percentage of girl athletes
strict criteria for bulimia or anorexia,     requires a number of specific actions:     has been increasing very slowly since
is estimated to range from between           • Adopt a “girl-centred” approach.         the late 1970s: in 1978, girls made up
15 and 62 per cent, depending on               Learn directly from girls about their    approximately 32 per cent of athletes,
the sport. 87 Disordered eating can            needs and interests and seek their       rising only 5 percentage points—to
affect the health and performance of           input in the design and scope of         37 per cent—by 1993. If this trend
an athlete in various ways, including          programmes. Recognition of girls’        continues, it will take until the year
low energy and disrupted menstrual             work burden and time constraints is      2033 to achieve parity. 92 At the col-
cycles, which can lead to a decrease           required and serious consideration       lege level, women make up 54 per
in endogenous oestrogen and other              must be given to ways to address         cent of students but only 43 per cent
hormones, resulting in low bone min-           these problems.                          of athletes. Men’s college athletics

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                            December 2007

also continue to receive more money
than women’s in scholarships, recruit-                       Title IX and gender equality in sport
ing, head-coach salaries and operating
expenses. 93 Although the law states            Title IX requires that women be provided an equitable opportunity to partici-
that schools in violation of Title IX will      pate in sport; that female athletes receive athletic scholarships proportional
lose their federal funding, this has            to their participation; and that female athletes receive equal treatment, for
never happened since the law came               example in the provision of equipment and supplies, scheduling of games
into force. Instead, Title IX compli-           and practice times, coaching, practice and competitive facilities, access to
ance has been driven by lawsuits and            tutoring, publicity and promotions, and recruitment of student athletes. Title
threats of lawsuits. 94                         IX has also increased the salaries of coaches for women’s teams.
    Such actions are behind recent rul-            Source: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. Official website.
ings across the United States that              Available from http://www1.ncaa.org/membership/ed_outreach/gender_equity/
require school cheerleading squads to
support girls teams on an equal basis
with the boys teams. The rulings have,       by a lack of facilities, such as changing     should be provided for all teachers; and
however, received a mixed reaction.          rooms for girls.97                            adequate resources allocated.
Some cheerleaders are not enthusias-             In addition to policies that support
tic about cheering for the girls teams,                                                              Sport and women
                                             the right to physical education, there                   with disabilities
often because the need to comply with        is a need to ensure that policies and
the ruling has increased their workload      programmes on school-based physical           Participation of disabled women and
and they are no longer sent to away-         education fully incorporate gender per-       girls in physical education and sport has
games. Some members of girls’ sport          spectives. For example, in addition to        increased in recent years but neverthe-
teams have also been unhappy about           promoting an increase in participation        less remains lower than participation by
the ruling, noting that they do not          by girls and young women, traditional         non-disabled women and girls. Limited
need or want cheerleaders during their       stereotypes and gender-based segre-           access to resources and activities leads
games.95                                     gation in sport and physical education        in many countries to significant health
                                             should be discouraged. Both boys and          disparities between women and girls
         Physical education                  girls need to be encouraged to move           with disabilities and those without. A
             in schools                      beyond the traditional classification of      recent study in the United States indi-
For all girls and young women, access        different types of sports as male (such       cates that 93 per cent of women with
to physical education in schools can         as rugby) or female (such as netball),        physical disabilities report engaging in
play an important role in promoting          and to pursue a diverse range of physi-       no physical activity, compared with 43
their participation in sport. During the     cal activity. To achieve this, policies and   per cent of women without disabilities.
1970s, 1980s and 1990s, physical             programmes should be established to           The study also reported that the preva-
education in schools worldwide was           raise awareness among students, par-          lence of chronic health conditions such
subject to decreasing curricula time,        ents and staff; the number of women           as arthritis, diabetes and high blood
reduced financial, physical and human        physical education teachers should be         pressure was 3 to 4 times higher in
resources, and a low subject status.         increased; gender-sensitive training          people with disabilities.98 Recreational
Since the Berlin Physical Education
World Summit in November 1999, there
have been significant improvements                             Basketball for girls in Afghanistan
in school-based physical education in           The project “Basketball for Girls” was established in Afghanistan in 2001 to
developed countries, but unfortunately          introduce and monitor basketball as an educational leisure activity for girls’
little change in developing countries.96        schools. In commemoration of the International Year of Sport and Physi-
   The inclusion of physical education          cal Education, the Sports Division of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, in
in official curricula does not necessarily      partnership with the NGO Women Without Borders, implemented sport
promote physical activity among girls,          programmes as a tool for development cooperation by providing courts,
as the physical education provided may          uniforms and equipment to two girls’ schools in Kabul. A Women Without
be heavily biased towards boys in terms         Borders training handbook and sport empowerment brochure was tested
of types of activity, teaching styles and       and used, with 500 girls given the chance to practise basketball skills, com-
accessible resources. For example,              pete in matches and train in teams.
physical education in some countries                Source: United Nations (2006). Sport for a Better World: Report on the
is optional for girls and many choose           International Year of Sport and Physical Education 2005, Geneva.
not to take part, a situation exacerbated

December 2007                                                                                          women 2000 and beyond

sport not only has a positive effect on
disabled women’s and girls’ overall
                                                      Self-defence for women and girls with disabilities
physical activity, but also contributes
positively to their empowerment. 99                International Training Advice and Research (ITAR) has organized many self-
Participation of women and girls with              defence courses for women and girls with disabilities in Europe and the
disabilities in sport not only challenges          United States. These courses are targeted at the empowerment of women
gender stereotypes but can also chal-              and girls with disabilities through physical activities and include specific
lenge prejudices about disabilities and            teachers’ training courses for female martial arts and self-defence trainers.
impairments.                                       Women Win—a women sports fund from the Netherlands—is financing a
    The low level of participation by disa-        teachers’ training project in Malaysia for women and girls with disabilities,
bled women is in part a reflection of              in collaboration with Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation Malaysia
the double discrimination that disabled            (WSFFM). The training is provided by a highly ranked martial arts wheelchair-
women face, both as disabled per-                  using woman teacher.
sons and as women. Greater physical                   Source: Lydia la Rivière-Zijdel, 3rd Degree Black Belt Karate and 1st Degree
and communication barriers are faced               Black Belt Aikido and self-defence instructor. Women Win—http://www.
by disabled women, such as the lack                womenwin.org
of access to appropriate facilities and
technological aides, including sport-               The lack of research and data on            Externally funded sport projects for
ing wheelchairs, prostheses, special            women with disabilities in sport hinders    disabled persons in developing coun-
materials for blind women such as tan-          efforts to develop programmes and ini-      tries do not always reach disabled
dems, ringing balls and sign language           tiatives which take into account their      women and girls. There is seldom suf-
interpretation.100 The lack of equipment        needs and priorities. It is, for example,   ficient attention to gender perspectives
and accessible training facilities can be       difficult to assess the global situation    in projects and, as a result, disabled men
linked to negative attitudes towards            of women and girls with disabilities        and boys benefit to a greater extent than
women and girls with disabilities.101 In        in sport at recreational and competi-       women and girls. Sport development
order to reduce the marginalization of          tive levels.104 The empowering effect       programmes in developing countries
disabled women and girls, their specific        of sport on women and girls with dis-       should incorporate specific attention
needs, for example for accessible infra-        abilities should be further investigated.   to gender perspectives and disability
structure and suitable sporting equip-          Increasing research and data collection     in order to ensure that they reach dis-
ment, should be taken into account in           must be given priority.                     abled women and girls.105
local, national and international sport
programmes and initiatives.
    Practical interventions must ensure                 The Cambodia women’s wheelchair racing team
that locations, facilities and equipment
                                                   The Battambang Ladies Racing Team, established in 2007 through collabo-
are accessible to women and girls with
                                                   ration of the Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled) Organization
all types of disabilities, that is, by ensur-
                                                   (CNVLD), the ICRC Battambang Rehabilitation Centre and WomenSport
ing that those who use wheelchairs can
                                                   International, is the first of its kind in Cambodia. The CNVLD will establish
access buildings, locker rooms, bath-
                                                   more female teams in provincial locations in 2008. The Battambang Ladies
rooms, and activity or meeting areas;
                                                   Racing Team became the first All-Female team in the ANZ Royal–CNVLD
that those who are deaf or hearing-
                                                   Wheelie Grand Prix. The five-member team trained to compete in the ANZ
impaired can have access to sign
                                                   Royal–CNVLD 2nd Round Competition in September 2007.
language interpreters; that those who
are blind or have low vision have tactile             The collaboration between CNVLD and ANZ Royal, the Cambodian sub-
access and visual activities or images             sidiary of one of Australia’s leading corporate bodies, demonstrates that
described to them;102 and that women               long-term partnership between local sports organizations and the corpo-
and girls with learning disabilities can           rate sector can be an effective path to sustainable sport development. The
access safe, adapted sport environ-                programme also illustrates that sport as a catalyst for social change in
ments. Guthrie and Castelnuovo (2001)              post-conflict nations is an exceptionally valuable tool, when issues such
observe that “in order to produce the              as a culture of violence, weak social cohesion, high unemployment, disaf-
greatest good for the greatest number,             fected youth and a high percentage of disability per capita can threaten to
more opportunities for women with                  undermine efforts to bring about stability.
disabilities in both sport and exercise               Source: ANZ Royal CNVLD Wheelie Grand Prix Welcomes First All-female
must be made available, and those that             Team (2007). Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled). Website.
do exist must be made more accessi-                Available from http://www.standupcambodia.org/blog/?p=1062
ble and accommodating”.103

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                         December 2007

    In terms of participation of disabled
women in international competitions,                          Promoting women’s participation
47 per cent of the nations compet-                               in the Paralympic Games
ing in the 1996 Paralympic Games
brought no women athletes, compared            The International Paralympic Committee’s Sport Technical Department
to 13 per cent of nations that brought         promoted women’s participation in the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney
no women athletes to the Olympic               focusing on women in the allocation of sport wildcards, adding more events
Games. In 2004, a record 31 per cent           and disciplines for women, and raising awareness of issues related to women
of participants in the Summer Paralym-         and sport among the leadership of national Paralympic committees.
pic Games in Athens were women, but               Source: International Paralympic Committee (2006). IPC women in sport
this was still below the 40 per cent par-      leadership toolkit: Increasing opportunities for women in Paralympic sport.
ticipation of women in the 2004 Olym-          Bonn, Germany: IPC. Available from http://www.paralympic.org/release/
pic Games.106                                  Main_Sections_Menu/IPC/Organization/Standing_Committees/Commission_
    The Women in Sport Committee of
the International Paralympic Commit-
tee provides advice and consultation        December 2004, the Network’s first         reflect traditional gender segregation
on issues of gender equality in Para-       regional summit for the Middle East        in sport. For example, there is no quota
lympic sport. The role of the Commit-       was organized by the National Paralym-     for female athletes in football and the
tee is to: advocate for the full inclu-     pic Committee of Iran, where an action     quota for male athletes in judo is almost
sion of women and girls at all levels of    plan for the region was developed that     twice that of female athletes. Eques-
Paralympic sport; identify barriers that    will create new opportunities in Para-     trian events are the only discipline with
restrict participation; make policy rec-    lympic sport for women and girls in the    higher quotas for women.109
ommendations to address these barri-        region.108                                     The International Paralympic Com-
ers; and oversee the implementation of         The International Paralympic Com-       mittee has acknowledged that it has
initiatives.                                mittee set targets for the numbers         given priority to the participation of
   The Committee also oversees the          of male and female athletes in the         disabled women in sport at the elite
Women in Paralympic Sport Network,          2008 Beijing Paralympics, with a           level and that more needs to be done
which aims to mobilize the worldwide        quota of 65 per cent men and 35 per        to increase participation and access at
Paralympic community to increase            cent women. This total participation       the grass-roots and recreational levels,
access to Paralympic sport for women        quota was also broken down into tar-       which in turn will allow more women
and girls. In 2005, two summits were        gets for individual categories of sport.   with disabilities to proceed to interna-
held for the Africa region in Niger and     Two disciplines—sitting volleyball and     tional competitions.110 Improving par-
Tanzania, which produced a regional         wheelchair fencing—currently have          ticipation at the grass-roots level can
action plan to effectively incorporate      equal participation targets for men and    bring the benefits of participation in
women into Paralympic sport.107 In          women. However, other disciplines          sport and physical education to local
                                                                                       disabled women and girls, including
                                                                                       improved physical and mental health,
                       Developing female leaders                                       development of social skills, building of
                    within the Paralympic Movement                                     social networks, and expanded opportu-
                                                                                       nities for education and employment.
     The International Paralympic Committee organizes Women in Sport Leader-
     ship Regional Summits and National Trainings in all regions to encourage
     full participation of women with disabilities and acknowledge their right to          Women’s leadership
     be leaders within the Paralympic Movement. It has developed a blueprint
                                                                                           and decision-making
     for action on gender equality in paralympic sport and calls for commitments
     for action to facilitate increased participation by girls and women. Leader-      Throughout the world, women’s par-
     ship Summits have been organized in Africa—in Tanzania (2005) and Kenya           ticipation in leadership and decision-
     (2006) and in the Niger (2006). A pilot Regional Summit for Asia was held         making remains limited in sport and
     in Tehran, Iran, in 2004. The first European Summit was held in Bonn in           sport-related organizations. Women are
     2007.                                                                             underrepresented at all levels, including
                                                                                       in coaching, management, commercial
        Source: International Paralympic Committee (2007). Developing Female
     Leaders Within the Paralympic Movement. Bonn, Germany. Available from             sporting activities and the media, as
     http://www.paralympic.org/release/Main_Sections_Menu/Development/                 well as in decision-making bodies at
     Development_Programmes/WIS/index.html                                             the local, national, regional and interna-
                                                                                       tional levels, including the International

December 2007                                                                                        women 2000 and beyond

Olympic Committee. To give an exam-
ple of one country, in the Czech Repub-                       Targets for women’s participation
lic: only 8 per cent (33 women) of all                            in sport decision-making
members of executive boards in Czech
                                               Progress in women’s leadership at the International Olympic Committee
sport federations are women; only 3
                                               was seen in 1997 when Anita DeFrantz became the first female vice-presi-
women have ever been members of
                                               dent of the IOC Executive Committee and Nawal El Moutawakel, appointed
the executive board of the Czech Olym-
                                               as Minister of Sport and Youth in Morocco that same year, became the first
pic Committee in its 105-year history;
                                               Muslim woman ever elected as a member of the IOC.
and only 21 per cent of elite athletes are
coached by women.111                              Source: Promotion of women sports leaders (2007). Official website of the
                                               Olympic Movement. Available from http://www.olympic.org/uk/organisation/
    The lessons learned from efforts to
increase women’s participation in politi-
cal decision-making show that many
of the gains made can be attributed          of Zambia became the second in the
to affirmative action, such as quotas,       world to elect women as both Presi-
                                                                                              Promoting women’s
established in constitutions, by leg-        dent and Secretary General.112 The
                                                                                            leadership in national
islation or through temporary special        study recognized that it is critical not
                                                                                             strategies for women
measures. Targets do work, although          to view targets as ceilings for women’s
                                                                                                   and sport
incentives as well as sanctions for non-     participation, but as minimum require-
compliance are often needed to ensure        ments for women’s representation.            Women and Sport South Africa,
their effectiveness.                            The study found that, in terms of         a national strategy launched in
                                             impact, women on these committees            1996, is aimed at empowering
    In 1997, as part of its Women and
                                             had influenced ongoing policy debates        women to be actively involved in
Sport policy, the International Olympic
                                             on women and sport, and the Secretaries      all spheres of sport and recrea-
Committee (IOC) established targets to
                                             General of various National Olympic          tion. In particular, it targets gov-
increase the number of women occupy-
                                             Committees indicated that women              ernmental and non-governmental
ing leadership and administrative posi-
                                             were among the most active members           agencies in South Africa to develop
tions within the Olympic Movement. By
                                             of the Executive Committees. The             a culture where all girls and
31 December 2005, the National Olympic
                                             benefits cited by the women commit-          women have equal opportunities,
Committees, International Sports Fed-                                                     equal access, and equal support
                                             tee members included the increases
erations and sporting bodies belonging                                                    in sport and recreation at all levels
                                             in women’s influence in the National
to the Olympic Movement should have                                                       and in all capacities, as decision-
                                             Olympic Committees, in participation
established that at least 20 per cent of                                                  makers, administrators, coaches,
                                             of women in leadership training, in
the positions in all their decision-making                                                officials and participants.
                                             appointment of women to other com-
structures are held by women.
                                             mittees, and in the general profile of           Source: Oglesby, Carole A., in
    A study conducted in January 2004        women in sport.113                           collaboration with the International
by the International Olympic Commit-            The study identified a number of          Working Group on Women and
tee (IOC) and the Institute of Sport &       constraints to women’s participation         Sport, WomenSport International,
Leisure Policy at Loughborough Uni-                                                       the International Association of
                                             in leadership and decision-making,           Physical Education for Women
versity (UK) found that the introduc-        including the challenge of getting           and Girls, and the International
tion of targets in the IOC had a positive    women nominated and elected from             Council of Sport Science and
impact on the proportion of women in         a constituency of National Federations       Physical Education (2006). Positive
the Executive Committees of National         whose representatives were predomi-          Embodiment: Contributions of
Olympic Committees. Sixty-two per                                                         S p o r t , E xe r c i s e a n d P hys i c a l
                                             nantly and traditionally male. Further-      Recreation to the Life-long Develop-
cent of National Olympic Committees          more, the targets were limited to only       ment of Girls and Women. (Brief
(NOCs) had achieved the targets. As          one part of the Olympic decision-making      prepared for the Division for the
of December 2005, there were nine            structure—the National Olympic Com-          Advancement of Women.)
women NOC Presidents: five in Africa,        mittees—and more work is needed to
three in Europe and one in the Ameri-        increase women’s participation at all
cas; and there were 14 women Secreta-        levels. There was also recognition            In addition to targets and quotas, a
ries General: four in Europe, four in the    that successful implementation of          number of other approaches are impor-
Americas, three in Africa, two in Asia       the targets will not necessarily lead to   tant in promoting the participation of
and one in Oceania. Africa is leading        policy changes in support of women’s       women and girls in sport leadership
the way for women’s leadership, and in       increased participation in decision-       and decision-making, including skills
2005, the National Olympic Committee         making.                                    training and recognition of achieve-

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                          December 2007

ments. Men’s leadership on this issue
is critical. The Chairperson of the
                                                               Sport as a platform to advance
International Olympic Committee’s
                                                              women’s leadership in all spheres
Women and Sport Commission, Anita
DeFrantz, has highlighted the need for         UNESCO and the Sony Ericsson Women’s Tennis Association Tour
women and men to work together to              announced a landmark global partnership in 2006, which marked a new level
achieve the goals set for women’s par-         of commitment to raise awareness of gender equality issues and advance
ticipation in sport leadership.114 Such        opportunities for women’s leadership in all spheres of society. Activities
cooperation can help to achieve the            planned included a fund for women’s leadership; appointment of global
benefits of women’s increased partici-         “Promoters of Gender Equality”; mentoring, scholarship and fellowship
pation in decision-making in sport for         programmes; and the use of UNESCO and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour events
both women and men, including the              as awareness and fund-raising platforms. Tennis star Venus Williams, the
diversification of the talent pool among       first global Promoter of Gender Equality, noted that “our goal is to let women
coaches, managers, administrators and          and girls throughout the world know that there are no glass ceilings, and to
other officials.                               do our part to support programs that provide real opportunities for women
                                               to succeed in whatever they set their minds to.”
   A number of international and
regional meetings and conferences                 Source: UNESCO (2006). “UNESCO and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announce
have explored women’s participation in         Global Partnership to Advance Gender Equality.” Press release. 12 November.
                                               Available from http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=35640&URL_
sport leadership and decision-making.          DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
The International Paralympic Commit-
tee regularly addresses this issue in its
regional “Women in Sport Leadership                                                     tive outcome of this incident was the
Summits”, which have been held in                                                       criticism that his remark drew from a
the Middle East, Africa and Europe. In                                                  wide variety of sources, and the atten-
October 2005, a conference on “Effect-
                                                                                        tion given to the fact that the woman
ing social change through women’s lead-     An enabling environment is also neces-      in question was the first woman to be
ership in sport” was held in the United     sary to improve the access of women         employed full-time in a major-league
States as part of the International Year    to sport-related employment. A wide         club’s training room.
of Sport and Physical Education. The        range of opportunities for employment
                                                                                           In Canada, for example, more than
conference, hosted by Kennesaw              exists in the world of sport, as coaches,
                                                                                        95 per cent of an estimated 1.2 million
State University, in association with the   managers, sport administrators, train-
                                                                                        coaches work at the community level.
United States Olympic Committee and         ers, game officials, physical education
                                                                                        In community-level softball, hockey and
the International Labour Organization       teachers, sports therapists, journalists
                                                                                        soccer, it is estimated that less than 5
(ILO), included programmes on: fos-         and editors. Positions also exist in the
                                                                                        per cent of the coaches are women,
tering socio-economic improvement           commercial sporting industry, in areas
                                                                                        even though the number of female
through the perspective of women’s          such as sport marketing and branding.
                                                                                        participants in these sports at the com-
leadership; the role of media in shap-      Women’s participation in all these fields
                                                                                        munity level is growing significantly.117
ing society’s perception of women;          of sport-related employment is low. The
and facilitating women in leadership        poor representation of women in sport-         A number of initiatives are under
positions that make an impact on soci-      related employment is not a reflection      way to encourage and promote wom-
ety.115                                     of the number of working women in the       en’s work in all sectors of the sporting
                                            world today; women represent more           industry. At the policy level, the Brighton
   Educational role modelling as a
                                            than 40 per cent of working people          Declaration calls upon sports and
means to reach community youth
was a special focus of the conference.      worldwide.116                               sports-related organizations to develop
Positive role models are recognized as                                                  policies, programmes and design struc-
                                               Many barriers to equitable employ-
an important way to increase partici-       ment opportunities remain, including        tures that increase the number of women
pation of women and girls in sport and      stereotypical attitudes towards women       coaches, advisers, decision-makers,
sport leadership. Long-term mentor-         and sport. A recent example in the          officials, administrators and sport per-
ship is also important, as the encour-      United States was a derogatory remark       sonnel at all levels with special atten-
agement and moral support offered           made by a prominent New York Mets           tion given to recruitment, development
through such relationships are key          broadcaster about women’s presence          and retention.118
factors in providing an enabling envi-      in baseball dugouts: “I won’t say that         The International Olympic Commit-
ronment for increased participation in      women belong in the kitchen, but they       tee (IOC), in cooperation with Olympic
this area.                                  don’t belong in the dugout”. A posi-        Solidarity, established a programme of

December 2007                                                                                       women 2000 and beyond

regional seminars for female adminis-
trators, coaches, technical officials and                               Women in coaching
journalists in the national and interna-
tional sport movement. The Interna-           The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) launched the “We are coaches”
tional Labour Organization (ILO) has          campaign in February 2006 to increase the number of women coaching at
also been active in promoting wom-            the community level from 5 per cent to 10 per cent in three years. As part
en’s employment in the sport sector. It       of the initiative, participating women will receive quality coach training in
adopted women in sport as the theme           certain sports through the National Coaching Certification Programme. CAC
for its 2006 celebrations for Interna-        anticipates expansion of the programme to include at least 15 additional
tional Women’s Day and held a panel           sports and many more communities in the second year, and to increase the
discussion to explore gender equality         number of sports and communities again in the third year.
issues in the sport-related employment           Source: “The Coaching Association of Canada launches a three-year campaign
sector.119                                    to increase the number of women coaches at the community level. In       ”
                                              Canada Sports News Online, 7 February 2006. Available from http://www.
    In some countries, progress has
been made through legal channels to           month=&year=&search_where
lift some of the barriers to women’s
careers in sport-related areas. For
example, in 1978, Melissa Ludtke of
Sports Illustrated, a highly recognized                       Supporting women’s professional
periodical of American sport, filed a                              development in sport
lawsuit in which a United States District
Court judge ruled that male and female        The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in cooperation with Olympic
reporters should have the same access         Solidarity, established a programme of regional seminars for female admin-
to athletes, even if it means entering        istrators, coaches, technical officials and journalists in the national and inter-
locker rooms while athletes are dress-        national sport movement. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has
ing.120                                       also been active in promoting women’s employment in the sport sector. It
                                              adopted women in sport as the theme for its 2006 celebrations for Interna-
                                              tional Women’s Day and held a panel discussion to explore gender equality
        Providing skills                      issues in the sport employment sector.
        for a career in
                                                  Source: Support Activities. Official website of the Olympic Movement.
      international sport                     Available from http://www.olympic.org/uk/organisation/missions/women/
   The second Sport Management                activities/activities_uk.asp
   Seminar for Women, organized
   by the International Academy of                                                      events was 95 to 1 in television and 20
   Sports Science and Technology                                                        to 1 in print media.121
   (AISTS), took place in June 2006
                                                    Women’s sport
   in Lausanne, Switzerland. A total
                                                    and the media                          In Australia, a 1996 study conducted
                                                                                        by the Australian Sports Commission
   of 51 women representing 38              The gender-based discrimination
                                                                                        found that coverage of women’s sport
   nationalities took part in this four-    against women in sport-related employ-
   day education programme organ-                                                       was just two per cent of total sport
                                            ment is also apparent in the unequal
   ized to provide women in sport                                                       broadcasting in television, 1.4 per
                                            representation of women in sport
   management with a solid under-                                                       cent in radio and 6.8 per cent in sport
                                            media, and the negative portrayal of
   standing of the key skills needed                                                    magazines. Newspaper reportage of
                                            women athletes and women’s sports
   to pursue a successful career in                                                     women’s sport was higher at 10.7 per
                                            remains a persistent problem. In addi-
   international sport. The seminar                                                     cent.122 When the South Australian
                                            tion, women’s sporting events remain
   included workshops and lectures                                                      Premier’s Council for Women com-
                                            marginalized from the mainstream
   on sport marketing, sponsorship                                                      missioned similar research in 2006, it
                                            multi-billion dollar sport-media indus-
   and media; project management;                                                       found that newspaper coverage was
                                            try and while many local, national and
   and communication, teamwork                                                          just 4.1 per cent, despite a number of
                                            international competitions include both
   and leadership.                          men’s and women’s events, the men’s         high-profile women’s sporting events
                                            events invariably dominate media cov-       held during the study period.123
      Source: International Academy
   of Sports Science and Technology.        erage and local and global attention.         Frank Deford, a senior writer for
   Website: http://www.aists.org/           For example, in the United States, the      Sports Illustrated, has argued that
   events.htm                               media coverage ratio in 2004 between        coverage of sport is dictated by what
                                            male and female professional sporting       people want to see. He maintains that

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                          December 2007

there is little coverage of women’s
sport because women do not support
                                                                   Sport media and stereotypes
female athletes nearly as much as men
support male athletes.124 The Women’s           Austria, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania and Norway have taken part in a cross-
Sports Foundation has, however, noted           European research project initiative, “Sport media and stereotypes—women
that there is no evidence to support the        and men in sport and media”, to explore similarities and variations in rep-
contention that women are not as inter-         resentations of women and men in sport. The initiative aims to promote
ested in sport as men.125                       change in gender stereotypes in sport by raising awareness among influen-
    Frank Deford has also suggested             tial target groups about the impact of representation of male and female ath-
that although individual female ath-            letes, particularly in the media, and how it creates and maintains traditional
letes are able to command attention,            images of women and men.
women’s team sporting events do                    Source: The 2005 United Nations International Year of Sport and Physical
not because men cannot conceive of              Education: Austrian Projects. Available from http://sport.austria.gv.at/
women representing them, for exam-              Docs/2005/7/8/UN%20Year%20of%20Sport%20&%20Physical%20Education
ple when supporters closely associate           %20Austrian%20Projects.doc?wai=true
their own identity with a college or pro-
fessional team. He has recommended              The coverage, marketing and promo-        Girls and Women in Sport, noted that
that major women’s competitions, such        tion of women’s sport are also often         while the number of sexualized images
as the national Collegiate Basketball        highly sexualized. The value of the          of male athletes is far outweighed
Championships in the United States,          female athlete is often determined in        by pictures depicting men simply as
should be moved to a different month         terms of her body type, attractiveness       great athletes, this is not the case for
in the year so that they do not have to      and sex appeal, rather than in terms of      women.133 Female athletes can also be
compete with the men’s events.126 The        the qualities that define her as an ath-     sexualized through official game rules,
Women’s National Basketball Associa-         lete. Donna Lopiano, the former Chief        which sometimes require revealing uni-
tion (WNBA) has already been moved           Executive of the Women’s Sport Foun-         forms, even when there is no functional
to a summer season.127                       dation in the United States, says that       purpose. This has been referred to as
    Media representation and portrayal       the sports media culture is “deciding        sexploitation.134
of men’s and women’s sport are also          what sells, and they’re not willing to
significantly different. Media cover-        sell legitimate female athletic achieve-
age of women’s sport continues to            ment”.130
be influenced by gender stereotypes,
                                                 This approach is sometimes imposed
which reinforce traditional images of                                                            Promoting women
                                             on female athletes but may also be
men and women. Numerous research                                                                  in sport media
                                             used voluntarily as a strategy to gain
studies have, for example, shown that                                                       The Ministry of Youth and Sports
                                             media coverage. For example, in 2000,
in sport media, women are frequently                                                        of Hungary funded a promotional
                                             the Australian national women’s soc-
portrayed as “girls”, no matter what                                                        programme for women in sport
                                             cer team, the Matildas, launched a
their age, and described in terms of                                                        with a specially designed logo
                                             nude calendar to generate publicity and
their physical attributes and emotional                                                     and the slogan “Keep in Shape”.
                                             increase their public profile.131 Capital-
responses, often in ways that stress                                                        The programme includes weekly
                                             izing on attractiveness is one way that
their weakness, passivity and insig-                                                        women of sport pages in a daily
                                             women athletes are earning more
nificance.128 Such gender stereotyping                                                      newspaper, articles in sport mag-
                                             money and corporate sponsorships,
can have a powerful influence on the                                                        azines and a weekly television
                                             but it is argued that the enhanced sexu-
younger generation’s perceptions and                                                        health and lifestyle programme.
                                             alization of female athletes diminishes
attitudes towards women and gender                                                          The Ministry also produced a 30-
                                             their accomplishments and reinforces
equality. In this context, the findings of                                                  minute programme on the “His-
                                             the image of women as sex objects,
a research study conducted on gender-                                                       tory of Women in Sports” for
                                             which is harmful to all women.132
specific images in Sports Illustrated for                                                   national television.
Kids are particularly disheartening. The        Male athletes are also taking advan-
study showed that stereotypical mascu-       tage of the commercialization of the              Source: International Working
                                                                                            Group on Women and Sport
line and feminine ideologies continued       sporting industry—as seen by clothing
                                                                                            (2002). Women and Sport
to dominate the magazine, even when          collections of male sport starts such as       Progress Report 1998-2002. Bonn,
progress in gender equality in sport has     Björn Borg (Sweden) and Ian Thorpe             Germany. Available from http://
been achieved and cultural acceptance        (Australia). However, Dr. Mary Jo Kane,        www.canada2002.org/e/progress/
and expectations of women in sport           Director of the University of Minneso-         worldwide/chapter3_america.htm
have evolved.129                             ta’s Tucker Center for Research on

December 2007                                                                                        women 2000 and beyond

   The promotion and popularization of       ing someone close to them who had           a victim, of harassment in sport. Of
women’s sport requires an increase in        been harassed.139                           those, 67 per cent said the abuser was
media coverage as well as a significant          Women and girls may face ver-           the trainer and 92 per cent said that the
improvement in the breadth, depth and        bal harassment, including of a sexual       harassment took place in a sport facility
quality of women’s sport media, as           nature, which can originate from other      or workplace.144
called for in the 1998 Windhoek Call         athletes, coaches, managers, specta-            Violence, exploitation and abuse in
for Action. Non-discriminatory portrayal     tors, and family or community mem-          the context of sport are of concern for all
of female athletes in sport media and        bers. For example, girls playing football   women, not only women athletes. The
marketing could not only provide posi-       in the Mathare Youth Sports Associa-        notion of masculinity based on men’s
tive role models that encourage more         tion programme in Kenya spoke of the        dominance, physical strength and power
women and girls to become athletes,          taunts and jeers of the boys who teased     that is traditionally enhanced by male
but it could also persuade more women        them as they walked in the community        sport can manifest into violence against
to become consumers of sport media           and of the risk of being harassed by        all women. Such notions of masculinity
and other products, as well as posi-         street boys who were present near the       may be a factor in the increasing levels
tively influence gender stereotypes and      playing field.140                           of sexual violence committed by male
the sexualization of women in all areas          The risk of violence and harassment     athletes. Negative conduct, however,
of society.                                  may stem from men’s resistance to the       does not seem to have had an impact
                                             challenging of gender-specific bounda-      on the popularity of male sport stars,
                                             ries and assertion of women’s inde-         as recognized by United States sports
     Violence against                        pendence, or may occur because women        commentator Frank Deford:
   women, exploitation                       are participating in sport viewed as            “Hardly a week goes by it seems
  and sexual harassment                      male domains. For example, one of the           without some pro or college star
                                             girls in the Mathare Youth Sports Asso-         being hauled up on some brutal
A further impact of the sexualization of     ciation (MYSA) programme in Kenya               charge against a woman. It is risky
women athletes is increased harass-          noted, “When I started playing for              to try to explain this simply, but cer-
ment, exploitation and violence against      MYSA my father would say that there             tainly part of this sorry trend can be
women.135 Studies conducted in a             is no football for girls, and he would          accounted for by the fact that ath-
number of countries give some indica-        beat me up. So whenever I wanted to             letes are now given so much, and
tion of the prevalence of violence and       go and play, my mother would cover              forgiven so much, and from so early
harassment in sport: 40-50 per cent of       up for me by saying that she had sent           on, that they become imbued with a
female athletes surveyed in Canada and       me somewhere.”141 Such attitudes can            sense of entitlement previously only
27 per cent in Australia reported harass-    sometimes be altered if the sport takes         found with royal princes of the realm.
ment.136 A study of Australian athletes      place within school grounds, rather             After a while it is hard to believe that
found that 31 per cent of female and         than in other facilities, as parents may        anybody will turn you down, particu-
21 per cent of male athletes reported        see schools as safer environments for           larly any woman. Yet while there is a
experiencing sexual abuse at some            their daughters to practise sport.              lot of bemoaning about the athletes’
time in their lives. Of these, 41 per cent       Verbal and physical harassment by           violence towards women, has it
of females and 29 per cent of males          coaches and managers, such as derog-            affected the popularity of any sport,
had been sexually abused within the          atory remarks and inappropriate looks           especially the NBA [National Basket-
sport environment.137 A Norwegian            or touching, is a particular concern.           ball Association], where misconduct
research project administered by the         A study in the Czech Republic found             of all kinds appears most abun-
Norwegian Olympic Committee from             that 45 per cent of female athletes             dant? . . . Until we see evidence
1995-2000 found that 28 per cent of          had experienced sexual harassment               to the contrary, we can continue to
female athletes had experienced sexual       from someone in sport, 27 per cent              assume that how pro-athletes treat
harassment in a sporting context. The        noting harassment from a coach.142 In           women is simply not germane so
study also showed that female athletes       Canada, 21.8 per cent of female ath-            long as they treat the games we love
had experienced sexual harassment            letes surveyed reported relationships           with respect and devotion.” 145
from both women (15 per cent) and            with a sporting authority figure, 23 per        The link between international sport-
men (45 per cent), either in or outside      cent of whom were under 16 years of         ing events and prostitution, and the use
of the sport setting.138 Young athletes      age and 8.6 per cent of whom felt obli-     of human trafficking to fill the demand,
are particularly vulnerable. In the United   gated to enter into the relationship.143    is a further concern relating to the
States, adolescents made up 31 per           A survey conducted during a marathon        exploitation of women in the context of
cent of cases of harassment, and in          in Mexico revealed that 71 per cent of      sport. While the link between sporting
Denmark, 25 per cent of sportswomen          the 150 respondents had been a vic-         events and human trafficking is often
under 18 reported harassment or know-        tim, or knew someone who had been           made, a representative of Ban Ying, an

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                                      December 2007

NGO assisting prostitutes from South-          to sport.150 This followed on from the         A group of experts on women and
east Asia, reports that the organization       Council of Europe resolution passed in      sport, Kari Fasting (Norway), Celia
and money required to traffic large            2000 on the prevention of sexual har-       Brackenridge (England), Sandi Kirby
numbers of women into a country for            assment and abuse of women, young           (Canada) and Trisha Leahy (Hong Kong),
a short-term event would be too much           people and children in sport (3/2000),      have also been contracted by UNICEF
of an investment, particularly given           which resolved to commission research       Innocenti Research Centre in Florence
the large police presence.146 Interpol         on the phenomena, prepare a national        to prepare a digest on violence against
has noted, however, that “prostitution         policy and suggest actions for imple-       children in sport.
networks set up specific organizations         mentation.151                                  A great deal remains to be done to
to take advantage of major sporting                The International Olympic Commit-       combat exploitation, harassment and
events” and, for example, an increase          tee’s Executive Committee adopted a         violence against women in sport. For
in prostitution was detected during the        consensus position statement on Sex-        example, affordable and reliable trans-
Fédération Internationale de Football          ual Harassment and Abuse in Sport in        portation, appropriate hours for events,
Association (FIFA) Confederations Cup          February 2007. It was prepared by a         and safe sporting locations are all impor-
in 2005.147                                    group of experts/researchers at a sem-      tant criteria for increasing the safety of
    A research project by the International    inar in Lausanne in October 2006. The       women and girls when participating in
Organization for Migration on traffick-        statement defines the problems, identi-     sport, especially when scheduled prac-
ing and the 2006 World Cup found that          fies the risk factors and provides guide-   tice or competition times finish after
although data on trafficking is limited, all   lines for prevention and resolution. The    dark. Further efforts should include
information available strongly indicated       objective is to improve the health and      research, awareness-raising and advo-
that an increase in trafficking during         protection of athletes through the pro-     cacy; the adoption of harassment-free pol-
and after the World Cup did not occur.         motion of effective preventive policy,
Prevention campaigns by the German             as well as to increase the awareness of
Government and local and international         these problems among all stakeholders
NGOs, as well as increased police              and actors in sport. The recommenda-            Combating harassment
focus, may have positively contributed         tions include:                                   and violence against
to this development. For example, a            • Adopting harassment-free policies               women and girls by
range of initiatives were implemented            and procedures that are in line with                 coaches
including multilingual hotlines, shelters        international ethical and human              WomenSport          International
for victims of trafficking, and outreach         rights statutes, and that are inclu-         encourages all sport organiza-
activities to women in their home                sive;                                        tions to establish codes of ethics
countries. The study also noted that
                                               • Encouraging open debate about                and conduct for coaches; foster
the characteristics of the fan commu-
                                                 sexual harassment, homophobia                a climate of open discussion
nity and the overall setting of the World
                                                 and exploitation of women and men            about sexual harassment and
Cup 2006 played an important role, as
                                                 in sport;                                    abuse; develop athlete autonomy
many of the fans included families with
                                               • Embedding an equitable balance of            wherever possible; incorporate
children.148 Unfortunately, attempts
                                                 males and females in all roles and           the issues of sexual harassment
to prevent human trafficking in these
                                                 democratic leadership styles to miti-        and abuse into coach education
contexts can lead to further discrimina-
                                                 gate against abuses of power;                programmes; introduce report-
tion against women, as illustrated in the
                                               • Acting as advocates of harassment-           ing and mediation systems; and
proposal to impose special visa require-
                                                 free sport through education and             adopt rigorous screening proce-
ments for women visitors from some
                                                 training programmes for everyone             dures for the appointment of all
non–European Union countries as a
                                                 involved in sport;                           personnel.
measure to address the trafficking of
women for the purpose of prostitution          • Actively monitoring the effective-                Source: WomenSport
at the World Cup.149                             ness of all anti-harassment initia-          International (WSI) Task Forces. The
                                                 tives;                                       Sexual Harassment Task Force:
   Prevention of violence, harassment                                                         Brochure on Sexual Harassment
and exploitation in sport is gradually         • Initiating research into men’s, wom-         and Abuse in Sport. WomenSport
being addressed at both policy and               en’s and boys’ and girls’ experiences        International. United States:
operational levels. For example, the rec-        of abuse and bullying within sport;          Wo m e n S p o r t I n t e r n a t i o n a l .
                                                 and                                          Available from http://www.sportsbiz.
ommendation on discrimination against                                                         b z / wo m e n s p o r t i n t e r n a t i o n a l /
women and girls in sport passed by                                                            taskforces/harassment_brochure.
the Parliamentary Assembly of the              • Giving active representation to ath-         htm
Council of Europe in 2005 calls for the          letes in decision-making at every
combating of sexual abuse in relation            level of sport.152

December 2007                                                                                         women 2000 and beyond

icies and procedures; the promotion of       on the benefits of sport and the capa-        all aspects of sport policies and pro-
women in coaching, management and            bilities of women and girls are all useful    grammes, and providing specific tai-
other leadership positions; and access       strategies for bringing about change.         lored support where appropriate. This
to open channels of redress.153 A sys-           It is important to keep in mind, how-     approach is essential to ensure that
tem of impunity must not be allowed          ever, that gender mainstreaming does          women and girls with disabilities par-
to perpetuate harassment, exploitation       not eliminate the need for targeted           ticipate fully, enjoy the benefits of both
and violence against women and girls         activities focused on women and girls.        recreational and competitive sport, and
in sport.                                    Resources, responsibilities and power         are empowered through the process.
                                             are not equitably allocated between               In relation to women’s participation
                                             women and girls and men and boys.             in decision-making, it is important to go
                                             Given the significance of the gender          beyond increasing numbers to enhanc-
        Where to now:                        gaps in many areas of sport, redress-         ing the effectiveness and impact of
         conclusions                         ing this situation will continue to require   women’s participation, through increas-
                                             affirmative action and the develop-           ing women’s voice in shaping policies,
                                             ment of specific targeted programmes          resource allocations, and programme
      recommendations                        for women and girls for some time to          development and management. Wom-
                                             come.                                         en’s access to promotion opportunities
                                                 The foundations of a sound action         within sporting organizations at all lev-
A range of actors are taking actions to      framework for the promotion of gen-           els should be assessed, and the types
address discrimination and inequali-         der equality and the empowerment of           of support mechanisms required to
ties in sport, including governments,        women in sport are already in place.          increase these opportunities should be
the United Nations system, sport-            Bodies at international, regional and         identified and provided. The impact of
ing institutions and NGOs. Common            national levels, in particular the women      affirmative action measures must also
strategies include awareness-raising,        and sport movement, have made major           be regularly assessed and strategies
advocacy and gender-sensitive policy-        efforts to provide clear policy recom-        adjusted as necessary. Furthermore,
making and programming, using both           mendations to redress the imbalances          databases on women leaders in sport
gender-mainstreaming approaches and          women and girls face in their involve-        are needed as a resource for those
women-specific initiatives. However,         ment in all areas and at all levels of        seeking candidates for leadership posi-
the extent of the problem of discrimi-       sport. They have also worked to accel-        tions. Without such databases, organi-
nation against women and girls in sport      erate the process of change, in particu-      zations can continue to claim that there
demands further action, and success-         lar through advocacy, research and data       are no women with the necessary skills
ful strategies and programmes must           collection, and monitoring and report-        or experience willing to take up key
be scaled up and expanded.                   ing progress. There are, however, a           positions.
    Gender mainstreaming in sport is         number of areas in which this frame-              Initiatives that address all forms
essential and requires that sporting         work can be significantly strength-           of violence, exploitation and harass-
bodies and institutions identify and         ened and expanded, including through          ment are needed at a variety of lev-
explicitly address the relevant gender       gender-sensitive resource allocations;        els, including within families, schools,
perspectives in all areas of their activi-   establishing higher targets for wom-          sport teams, communities, and in local,
ties, for example, in policy develop-        en’s participation in decision-making         national, regional and international com-
ment, planning processes, budget             and leadership, and enhancing follow-         petitions. There should be commitment
procedures, human resources devel-           up of these targets; and developing           to creating safe and supportive envi-
opment—including recruitment, pro-           and implementing policies and codes of        ronments for women and girls to par-
motion, retention and training—and           conduct in relation to violence, exploi-      ticipate in sport. Improving safety and
in research and statistics. The main-        tation and harassment in sport. Action        security requires, for example, atten-
streaming of gender perspectives into        plans are needed at all levels that pro-      tion to suitable locations; appropriate
all sport policies and programmes will       vide concrete guidance on what needs          scheduling; and the design of gender-
require a deeper understanding of the        to be done and by which actors, and           sensitive and disability-aware facilities
barriers women and girls may face in         that also outline timelines, concrete tar-    that take into account the need for
accessing, participating in and benefit-     gets, resource implications, and moni-        secure changing rooms and adequate
ing from sport and physical activity, and    toring and reporting requirements.            lighting and transport. Initiatives must
the identification of ways to address            A twin-track approach on sport for        address a number of key issues such
them. For example, establishing appro-       women and girls with disabilities is          as gender stereotyping, power relation-
priate physical resources and infra-         necessary, that is, ensuring that issues      ships between coaches and athletes,
structure, developing equitable rules        of women and girls with disabilities          as well as the link between interna-
and regulations, and raising awareness       are systematically mainstreamed into          tional sporting events and prostitution

women 2000 and beyond                                                                                           December 2007

and the risk of human trafficking to fill    not only required for girls and young       equately addressed—is identifying
that demand.                                 women; there is also a critical need        means of developing accountability of
    A number of other critical areas need    for gender-sensitive male athletes,         these key actors.
further attention. Monitoring and evalu-     coaches, journalists and other leaders         Men and boys also need to be tar-
ation of the impact of initiatives, such     to provide positive role models and         geted for training on gender equality in
                                             support for boys and young men.
as the use of targets and quotas, need                                                   sport and the empowerment of women
to be significantly strengthened. Reli-         Organizational change is particularly    and girls. The women and sport move-
able and comparable data are required,       important, including changes to organi-     ment should identify critical allies
both as an advocacy and awareness-           zational cultures, values, norms, rules     among male athletes, coaches, manag-
raising tool, and as a means to improve      and procedures. Practical aspects of        ers and other leaders, including in the
the effectiveness of monitoring and          organizational change can be critical to    media. Men must be encouraged to play
reporting on the implementation of poli-     ensure women’s full involvement, such       a more visible supportive role. Follow-up
cies and programmes. Improved means          as establishing appropriate meeting         to ensure the effectiveness of training
of disseminating data and statistics         schedules and provision of childcare.       programmes provided to both women
should be sought, including through the      Since the representation of women           and men is critical.
media. Initiatives are needed to build a     in sporting organizations is currently
                                             low, men in leadership positions have           Other critical allies could also be
good knowledge base on successful                                                        identified, for example, in parliaments
strategies and promising practices for       a major responsibility for promoting and
                                             sustaining the required organizational      as well as in the national mechanisms
increasing participation of women and                                                    established to promote gender equal-
girls in sport and promoting sport for       change.
                                                                                         ity and empowerment of women, such
gender equality.                                A range of actors should be involved
                                                                                         as women’s ministries, gender equal-
                                             in and collaborating on promoting
    Strategies that address the inad-                                                    ity commissions and ombudsperson
                                             increased access, involvement and
equate and often negative portrayal of                                                   offices.
                                             benefits for women and girls in all
women’s sport in the media are essen-                                                       The International Year of Sport and
                                             areas of sport. These include govern-
tial. Attention should be paid not only to                                               Physical Education in 2005 generated
                                             ments, public authorities, sporting
increasing coverage but also to improv-                                                  considerable attention to the issue of
                                             organizations at the local, national and
ing the quality and style of media report-                                               sport and development throughout the
                                             international levels, research and train-
ing. Efforts may include reducing the                                                    world. Now is the time to harness the
                                             ing institutions, women’s organizations
sexualized representation, marketing                                                     momentum created by the Interna-
                                             and networks, and development agen-
and promotion of women’s sport, and                                                      tional Year and ensure the systematic
                                             cies. Individuals who are involved with
changing the dominant stereotypical          promoting, conducting, researching,         and effective integration of a gender
gender images to reflect the progress        reporting on and in any way influencing     perspective in all areas and at all levels
on gender equality in sport.                 sporting activities—such as coaches,        of sport. Concerted efforts are needed
   The establishment of positive role        trainers, managers, other officials,        by all key actors to move positions for-
models and development of mentor-            journalists and athletes themselves—        ward on gender equality in sport and on
ing systems are important strategies.        should also be actively involved. A         the empowerment of women and girls
Positive role models and support are         major challenge—which remains inad-         through sport.

December 2007                                                                                          women 2000 and beyond

                                               10 World Health Organization (2007c).         Disability in Sport Working Group,
                                                 Physical activity and older people: For     Sport in the United Nations Conven-
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                                                                                             Force on Sport for Development and
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women 2000 and beyond                                                                                                     December 2007

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                                                                                                   Force on Sport for Development and
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29 International                                                                                   New York. Available from http://www.
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30 A keynote     presentation was made by         org/data/document/document/41.doc              54 United Nations Inter-Agency Task
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                                                41 United Nations Inter-Agency Task
     http://www.un.org/sport2005/                                                                56 Olympic   Movement (2004). Women
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                                                  Peace (2003). op. cit.
     sport_bulletin_4_15_june_05.pdf                                                               Lausanne, Switzerland. Available from
                                                42 Ibid.
32 Council    of Europe (2005). Recom-                                                             http://www.olympic.org/common/asp/
     mendation 1701: Discrimination             43 Oglesby, Carole A., et al. (2006), op. cit.
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     Strasbourg, France: Parliamentary                                                           57 United Nations (2007). United Nations
                                                45 Ibid.
     Assembly, 2nd Part of the 2005 Ses-
                                                46 Sabo,                                           Sports Bulletin, No. 24, 15 January
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                                                                                                   2007. Available from http://www.
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     EREC1701.htm                                 Women’s Sports Foundation report:
33 Council    of Europe (2000). Resolution        Sport and teen pregnancy. East Meadow,
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     on the prevention of sexual harass-
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                                                          Sumru, and A. Tracy (2005),
     people and children in sport. Bratis-                                                         www.northnet.org/stlawrenceaauw/
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     lava, Slovakia: 9th Conference of Euro-                                                       timelne2.htm
                                                  Sexual Behaviour 2000-2005. Welles-
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     texts/spres00.3_en.asp                       http://www.wcwonline.org/joomla/                 able from http://www.olympic.org/
34 African   Sports Confederation of Disa-        index.php?option=com_content&task                uk/organisation/missions/women/
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60 Shapiro,Leonard (2006). Burk Still            70 Meier, Marianne (2005). Gender Equity,   78 Information
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                                                 75 Riordan,   James (2000). “Chinese        87 Oglesby, Carole A., et al. (2006), op. cit.
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69 Oglesby, Carole A., et al. (2006), op. cit.     2006).                                    91 Ibid.

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92 Feminist   Majority Foundation (1995).      102 Oglesby, Carole. A., et al. (2006), op. cit.      and the Olympic Movement. Lough-
     “Empowering Women in Sports”. In          103 Guthrie,                                          borough, UK: Loughborough Univer-
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94 Ibid.
                                               105 Communication
95 Equal
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                                               106 International
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96 Hardman, Kenneth (2004). An Update             (2006). IPC women in sport leader-                 Women’s Day; champion female ath-
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97 Ibid.                                                                                             Canada Sports News Online, 7 Feb-
                                               107 The  reports are available from
98 United     States Centers for Disease                                                             ruary 2006. Available from http://
                                                  www.paralympic.org/release/Main_                   www.canadiansport.ca/news/news_
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99 La    Rivière-Zijdel, Lydia (2006). Dis-       en’s Day 2005”, 8 March 2005. Avail-               Declaration on Women and Sport:
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                                               110 Ibid.
     Deventer: daM Publications.                                                                     org/uk/organisation/missions/women/
100 International  Paralympic Committee
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101 La   Rivière-Zijdel, Lydia (2007). ”The    112 International  Olympic Committee                  issue 2, p. 54 (taken from ILO (2006),
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126 Deford, Frank (2004).“Timing is every-
                                               135 Ibid.
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                 Ending Violence against Women:
                     From Words to Action—
                  Study of the Secretary-General

The study, which addresses violence against women as a form of discrimination and a
human rights violation, finds that such violence is severe and pervasive throughout the
world, causing untold misery for women, harming families across generations, impoverish-
ing communities and reinforcing other forms of violence throughout societies.
   The study acknowledges the work of grass-roots women’s organizations and movements
around the world in bringing violence against women into the arena of public attention and
State accountability. It analyses the causes, forms and consequences of violence against
women, reviews available data and outlines States’ obligations to address such violence.
While the study describes promising practices in the areas of law, service provision for
victims and prevention, it also notes remaining challenges in bringing an end to violence
against women.
   The study puts forward a blueprint for action, by different stakeholders, at local, national
and international levels. Such action needs to involve demonstrations of political commit-
ment; the investment of resources; and strong institutional mechanisms that can develop
and implement comprehensive approaches for the prevention and eradication of all forms of
violence against women. Securing women’s human rights and promotion of gender equality
are crucial to this agenda.
   The study is available in English, French and Spanish.

          Sales No. E.06.IV.8 • ISBN: 978-92-1-130253-0 • Price $38.00

              World Survey of the Role of Women
                       in Development:
              Women and International Migration
A flagship publication of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations
Secretariat, the 2004 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development addresses key
issues related to women and international migration. A gender perspective is essential
to understanding both the causes and consequences of international migration. Migrant
women contribute to the economic development of their country of destination and to the
country of origin through financial contributions from remittances, the improvement of their
own skills and their contributions to the improvement of the education and skills of the next
generation. Women often migrate officially as dependent family members of other migrants
or marry someone in another country. Many national laws on emigration and immigration
of voluntary migrants include discriminatory provisions that affect the protection of migrant
women. Refugee women and girls face particular problems regarding their legal and physi-
cal protection. The trafficking of people for prostitution and forced labour is one of the
fastest-growing areas of international criminal activity and one that is of increasing concern
to the international community. International migration affects gender roles and opportuni-
ties for women in destination countries. The 2004 World Survey analyses key issues on
labour migration, family formation and reunification, rights of migrant women, refugees and
displaced persons, as well as trafficking of women and girls. It sets out recommendations,
which, if adopted, will improve the situation of migrant, refugee and trafficked women.

             Sales No. E.04.IV.4 • ISBN 92-1-130235-8 • Price $19.95

          The Convention on the Elimination
    of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
               and its Optional Protocol
                        Handbook for Parliamentarians

This Handbook, produced by the Division for the Advancement of Women of the United
Nations Secretariat in collaboration with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, offers a compre-
hensive and educational presentation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol. The Handbook presents the
background to and content of the Convention and the Optional Protocol and describes the
role of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which secures
implementation at the national level. It provides examples of good practices and gives an
overview of what parliamentarians can do to ensure effective implementation of the Conven-
tion and encourage use of the Optional Protocol. It also proposes model instruments and
reference materials as aids designed to facilitate the work of legislators.
  The Handbook is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

            Sales No. E.03.IV.5 • ISBN 92-1-130226-9 • Price $18.95
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             Back issues of Women 2000 and Beyond

               Back issues of Women 2000 and Beyond                                     This issue of
                   are available to download from:                               Women 2000 and Beyond
        http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/public/w2000.html                             was prepared
                                                                               in collaboration with Carole
                                                                                         A. Oglesby
                  Gender equality and empowerment                                  and the International
               of women through ICT (September 2005)
                                                                                    Working Group on
                                                                               Women and Sport (IWG) and
                  Women and Water (February 2005)                               WomenSport International

         Making Risky Environments Safer: Women Building                            The document was
     Sustainable and Disaster-Resilient Environments (April 2004)                    peer-reviewed by
                                                                                    Johanna Adriaanse,
           Women, nationality and citizenship (June 2003)                             Karl Fasting and
                                                                                   Lydia la Rivière-Zijdel.

             Gender Dimensions of Ageing (March 2002)

         Widowhood, invisible women, secluded or excluded
                         (December 2001)

        Integrating a gender perspective into United Nations
                 human rights work (December 1998)

    Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict: United Nations Response
                            (April 1998)

                  Women and decision-making (1997)

                                                                                   The cover is adapted
            Women and the Information Revolution (1996)                            from “Sprite”, 1997,
                                                                                    by Edwina Sandys

     The role of women in United Nations peace-keeping (1995)
                Division for the Advancement of Women
               Department of Economic and Social Affairs
                   of the United Nations Secretariat

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