Het concept-Handvest voor de Rechten van Vrouwen in de Sport

Het concept-Handvest voor de Rechten van Vrouwen in de Sport

Presentatie in het Europees Parlement

  1. Inleiding
  2. Het project Olympia
  3. De samenvatting van het concept-Handvest
  4. European Chart of Women’s Right in Sports

1. Inleiding

In 1987 heeft het Europees Parlement het Handvest voor de Rechten van Vrouwen in de Sport aangenomen. Dat Handvest is momenteel verouderd. Vandaar dat twee jaar geleden een projectgroep is begonnen met het aanpassen van het Handvest aan de eisen van deze tijd. De groep heeft daaraan vijftien maanden gewerkt. Op 24 mei 2011 is het document aangeboden aan het Europees Parlement. Het zal wellicht twee jaar duren voordat het parlement het document geheel of gewijzigd zal aannemen. Vandaar dat het beter is te spreken van een concept-Handvest.

Het aardige aan het concept-Handvest is dat het een overzicht geeft van alle aspecten die van belang zijn voor vrouwen in de sport, en dus ook voor vrouwen bij het schaken. De KNSB, de regionale bonden, de verenigingen en de journalisten kunnen het concept raadplegen om te zien of ze voldoen aan die criteria. Zij hoeven niet zelf meer het wiel uit te vinden: alle informatie staat in het concept. Ze weten waarop moet worden gelet.

Als men het concept-Handvest plus de toespraak van eurocommissaris Androulla Vasilliou (zie mijn artikel ‘De vrouw in de sportwereld’, schaaksite.nl/de-vrouw-in-de-sportwereld) bestudeert, weet men wat men in de nabije toekomst kan verwachten over dit onderwerp. Het is dus verstandig daarmee nu al rekening te houden.

Het is overigens zo wie zo voor bestuurders in de schaakwereld (en de schakers zelf) raadzaam de ontwikkeling van de sport in het algemeen in de gaten te houden. Men moet weten hoe ‘Europa’ denkt over sport; en dus ook over schaken. Want, er bestaan daarover de nodige documenten. Bijvoorbeeld, resoluties van de Raad van Europa, conclusies en resoluties van de Europese Commissie, de Europese projecten ‘Sport voor Allen’, het Witboek Sport van de Europese Commissie. De oudste documenten zijn al meer dan 30 jaar oud. Was aanvankelijk de Raad van Europa (waarbij 47 landen zijn aangesloten) de initiatiefnemer voor ontwikkeling op het terrein van de sport, sinds het begin van deze eeuw heeft de Europese Unie (waarbij 27 landen zijn aangesloten) die raad ingehaald. Voor bijvoorbeeld het IOC*NSF en het ministerie van VWS zijn dit documenten waarmee zij rekening houden.

Voor zover ik kan zien houden de president van de Europese Schaakunie, Silvio Danailov, en de president van de Turkse Schaakbond, Ali Nihat Yazici, wel rekening met de internationale opvattingen over sport. Bij het maken van beleid, en bij de uitvoering daarvan proberen zij die te omarmen: sport voor allen. Vandaar dat zij hun boodschap ook gemakkelijk kunnen verkopen in het Europees Parlement en bij hun regeringen. Zij hebben een bredere belangstelling, hanteren de juiste termen en kunnen verder kijken dan alleen de schaakwereld, of beschikken over een beter netwerk. Zij proberen de verbinding te leggen met de wereld buiten het schaken.

2. Het project Olympia

Op 24 mei 2011 werd het concept-Handvest voor de Rechten van Vrouwen in de Sport gepresenteerd in het Europese Parlement in Brussel.

Het concept-Handvest is het hoogtepunt van het project de Olympia: gelijke kansen door en binnen de Sport. Het doel daarvan is de betrokkenheid van vrouwen in de praktijk en het bestuur van de sport te versterken. Het project wordt geleid door de Unione Italiana Sport Per Tutti (UISP), samen met het Weense Instituut voor Internationale Dialoog, Oostenrijk, de Internationale Liga Tegen Racisme en Antisemitisme, Frankrijk, de Internationale Vereniging Sport en Cultuur (ISCA) en de vakgroep Sportwetenschappen van de universiteit Kopenhagen, Denemarken. Het concept-Handvest is een wijziging op een eerdere versie die het Europese Parlement in 1987 heeft aangenomen.

‘Vergeleken met de eerste versie schenkt het concept-Handvest meer aandacht aan multiculturele kwesties, en in het algemeen aan discriminatie op grond van cultuur en godsdienstige overtuiging. Het schenkt ook aandacht aan gehandicapten, en er is een speciale paragraaf over richtlijn over seksuele gedragingen. Voor het eerst schenkt het aandacht aan het verband tussen vrouwen en de georganiseerde supporterswereld,’ aldus Daniela Conti, coördinator van het Olympia project.

Het concept-Handvest bestaat uit vijf thematische paragrafen:

– deelname aan de sport

– leiderschap

– onderwijs

– vrouwelijke sporters en de media, en

– vrouwen als supporters.

Jump in Olympia. Strong(er) Women through Sport

3. De samenvatting van het concept-Handvest

Het concept-Europese Handvest voor de Rechten van Vrouwen in de Sport richt zich tot sportorganisaties en sportbonden, sporters, groepen van supporters, overheden, instituten van de Europese Unie en alle organisaties die direct of indirect te maken hebben met de promotie van ‘sport voor allen’. In het bijzonder richt het zich tot de campagne voor het verkrijgen van gelijke kansen tussen vrouwen en mannen in de sport.

Dit concept-Handvest over gender gelijkheid in de sport richt zich tot iedereen zonder onderscheid naar cultuur, godsdienst, leeftijd, geestelijke of fysieke vaardigheden, seksuele voorkeur of sociale status. Het is belangrijk om te benadrukken dat dit Handvest de universele waarden van gelijkheid belichaamd. Het voorziet in specifieke maatregelen om het beleid over gender gelijkheid voor bepaalde groepen te versterken.

Deelname aan de sport

Iedereen heeft het recht deel te nemen aan sport in een veilige omgeving die de menselijke waardigheid beschermt. Vrouwen en mannen van alle leeftijden met verschillende sociale en ethnische achtergronden moeten dezelfde kansen hebben om te sporten. Sportorganisaties en instituten zijn verantwoordelijk voor het uitvoeren van gender gelijkheid en het vinden van middelen om te bevorderen dat vrouwen in de sport op alle niveaus kunnen deelnemen.

Leiderschap

Vrouwen en mannen moeten dezelfde kansen hebben om deel te nemen bij het nemen van beslissingen op alle niveaus. Dit geldt voor alle gebieden van takken van sport. Zij moeten gelijk zijn vertegenwoordigd in raden, commissies en bestuursfuncties. De Europese Commissie en de Lidstaten moeten concrete maatregelen nemen ervoor te zorgen dat gelijke vertegenwoordiging van vrouwen en mannen bestaat bij besluitnemende functies in de sportorganisaties en instituten. Dat geldt ook voor besturen en agentschappen die te maken hebben met sport. Een quota systeem en een extra pro-actieve handelwijze zijn nodig voor het bereiken van dit doel.

Onderwijs en sport/lichamelijke opvoeding

Meisjes en vrouwen, evenals jongens en mannen, hebben hetzelfde recht om diverse sporten te leren en vaardigheden te ontwikkelen voor hun fysieke gesteldheid en gezondheid. Beide geslachten zouden de kans moeten worden gegeven om heel hun leven te kunnen sporten en fysieke activiteiten te ontwikkelen die ze wensen. Docenten lichamelijk opvoeding, coaches, deskundigen in de gezondheidszorg en andere werkgroepen op het terrein van het onderwijs zouden bewust moeten worden gemaakt van gender discriminatie in de sport. Zij zouden de principes van gender gelijkheidheid moeten aanvaarden en toepassen.

Onderzoek en wetenschappelijke instituten

Vrouwen en mannen zouden dezelfde kansen moeten hebben om lid te worden van wetenschappelijke sportinstituten om theorieën, methoden en onderzoeksonderwerpen te beïnvloeden. Gelijke deelname en gelijke behandeling van vrouwen en mannen op alle niveaus en in alle takken van sportwetenschap zouden moeten worden bevorderd.

Vrouwen, sport en de media

De massamedia heeft een enorme invloed op de ontwikkeling van de cultuur in de Europese Unie. Zij moet de eerste zijn om de principes en de waarden van gender mainstreaming te omarmen, in het bijzonder de prioriteiten en aanbevelingen zoals vastgelegd in dit concept-Handvest. Vrouwelijke sporters moeten dezelfde kansen hebben als mannen om vertegenwoordigd te worden in de massamedia. De aandacht van de media zou de waardigheid van het individu moeten respecteren. Vrouwen zouden op gelijke wijze moeten worden vertegenwoordigd in media gerelateerde functies, zoals journalisten, fotografen of redacteuren.

Publiek en fans

Vrouwen zouden dezelfde kansen moeten hebben als mannen om uitdrukking te geven van hun liefde voor de sport door fans te zijn en door hun deelname als lid van supportersverenigingen. Vrouwelijke fans zouden moeten worden gewaardeerd als deskundigen, die mogen meedoen aan de kernactiviteiten van supportersgroepen. Zij zouden niet moeten worden beschouwd als slechts niet-geïnformeerde toeschouwers of consumenten die de kernidealen van de groep niet delen.

4. European Chart of Women’s Right in Sports

Acknowledgement:

Doc. Daniela Conti, Doc. Francesca D’Ercole (UISP, Unione Italiana Sport Per tutti)

Prof. Gertrud Pfister (Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen)

Doc. Heidi Thaler, Doc. Elisabeth Kotvojs (FairPlay – VIDC)

Doc. Marvin Radford (ISCA)

Doc. Carine Bloch, Doc. Arnaud Kenigsberg, la Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme (LICRA)

Jacques Cortie (Interactiva)

A special thanks to all the women and men of all the associations who has actively participated at the writing of the chart and the creation of the different events.

European Charter of Women’s Rights in Sports

The European Charter of Women’s Rights in Sports is addressed to sports organisations and federations, sports participants, supporter groups, public authorities, EU institutions and all organisations that may have a direct or indirect impact on the promotion of “sport for all”

and particularly for campaigning in favour of equal opportunities between women and men

in sport.

This Charter about gender equality in sport is addressed to all people without any distinction

of culture, religion, age, mental and physical capacities, sexual orientation or social standing.

It is important to emphasize that this Charter embodies universal values of equity and it

provides specific measures to reinforce gender equality policies for targeted groups.

Introduction

The White Paper on Sport and the recognition of sport in the Lisbon Treaty bring new life to

it: “Sport is one of the areas of human activity that most concerns and brings together

citizens of the European Union. Due to its capacity to reach out to everyone, regardless of

age or social origin, sport can play various roles in European society” (White Paper on Sport,

2007).

The “Charter of Women’s Rights in Sports” of 1985, proposed by UISP and adopted by the

European Parliament in 1987 as the Resolution on Women in Sport (doc. A 2-32/87/rev),

was the first step that officially acknowledged the claim of equal opportunities for women

and men in sport within the context of the European Union.

The Charter highlighted the very high inequality between women and men in the field of

sport and stressed the importance of overcoming the numerous cultural barriers that

prevent women’s involvement.

In spite of some progress and the increase in the number of women practising sport,

discrepancies still exist in terms of equal opportunities in some areas of sport.

The expansion of the European Union requires a review and update of the Charter (1985

version).

The basis of this Charter and subsequent initiatives was the awareness that the quality of

society depends on equal rights of its entire population, including equal opportunities in

sport, namely elite sport as well as sport for all. “All” in this context implies women and

men, boys and girls, people of all ages, migrants and people with disadvantages and

impairments.

Many variables must be considered: there are those who wish to compete and are

interested in performance, while others practise sport just for fun or personal pleasure;

some people prefer practising alone, others take part in organised sports activities. In all

cases, each individual should have equal access to the activity of his/her choice and be

equally represented in decision-making groups and committees.

Participation in sport

Everyone has the right to participate in sport in a safe environment that preserves human

dignity. Women and men of all ages coming from a different social and ethnic background

must have the same opportunities to practise sport.

Sports organisations and institutions must be responsible for implementing gender

equality and find means of governance to promote women’s participation in sport at all

levels.

Recommendations for sports clubs

• Time: Very high flexibility in the scheduling of sports venues and focus on the

requirements and desires of all groups, in particular girls and women.

• Location: Allocation of sports facilities on an equal basis to all groups. More

attention should be given to “women friendly” sports areas: dressing rooms,

common areas, sports halls and gym facilities should meet the expectations of

women.

• Allocation of available financial resources on an equal basis to all groups in the

organisation.

• Development of sport opportunities, in particular for girls and women from

underprivileged backgrounds.

Recommendations for sports federations and associations

• Work for an organisational transformation of the federation/association to

accommodate women in various areas and roles.

• Organise activities in different educational environments such as schools, youth

centres and sports centres, which should encourage girls and women to participate

in sport.

• Foster a women-friendly environment in elite sport that allows women to combine

sport with motherhood.

• Develop programs for the growth of women’s sport participation and seek cooperation

with political stakeholders in similar areas (Ministry of Health, Social

Affairs, etc).

• Allocate available financial resources for sport participation on an equal basis.

• Allocate sports facilities to all relevant groups on an equal basis.

• Include explicit anti-sexist clauses in the federations’ statutes and regulations.

Recommendations for the EU

• Support the promotion of sport activities among girls and women.

• Support and encourage European research that investigates the reasons why girls

abandon sports.

• Support and encourage national and international federations and associations to

promote special programmes that increase women’s participation in sport.

• Support and empower European bodies to promote and implement the Charter’s

recommendations.

Leadership

Women and men must have the same opportunities to participate in decision-making at all

levels as well as in all areas of sport. They must be equally represented on boards,

committees and in managerial positions.

The EC and Member States must take concrete measures to ensure equal representation of

women and men in decision-making positions in sports organisations and institutions, as

well as in administrations and agencies dealing with sport.

A quota system and additional pro-active action are needed to attain this goal.

Recommendations for sports federations and associations

• Sports associations and authorities should adopt regulations in their statutes that

make equal representation of women and men in all decision-making positions

mandatory.

• Sports organisations should develop mentoring programs, leadership training and

counselling for women and men, as well as support networks for female leaders to

improve the gender balance in sport leadership.

• Sports organisations and authorities should enhance awareness of gender inequality

(and its negative impact on the organisation, on the sports environment and on

society as a whole), implement gender mainstreaming programs and provide gender

education to members and staff at all levels.

• A quota of managerial positions for women and men at all decision-making levels

(national federations, regional organisations, clubs, etc.) should be assigned. The

number of positions allocated to both genders must be related to the percentage of

female and male members.

• Educational and training programmes should be organised that encourage and

enable women to work at various echelons of leadership, e.g. as administrators or

referees.

• Establish a women’s committee with the task of promoting and supporting women’s

participation on boards.

• Detect structural discrimination and spread knowledge about this form of

discrimination, e.g. via seminars.

• Support the education and employment of female trainers and use successful

women trainers as role models.

• Train and promote women to managerial positions (including the management of

men and top level male athletes), so that they can become leaders and educators (of

women and men) or referees/umpires (also for male sports).

• Organise seminars dealing with structural discrimination.

Recommendations for the EU

• Recognition and financial support of sports associations and institutions should

depend on compliance with gender equality in all areas and at all levels of sport.

• The EC, member states and sports organisations should collect and disseminate data

on the persistence of gender inequalities.

• The EC and member states should promote networking between key persons and

groups and the exchange of experiences and good practises.

• The EC should encourage and support studies on gender inequality in various sports

areas and on the effects of the measures mentioned above. The results of these

studies will provide information on the impact of the interventions.

• Set up formal or informal meetings and encourage networking among women.

• Acknowledge the contribution of women who occupy leadership positions.

Education and sport / Physical Education

Girls and women, as well as boys and men, must have the same right to learn various

sports and skills and to develop physical literacy and fitness.

Both genders should be given the chance to develop a life-long commitment to sport and

to the physical activities of their choice.

Physical education teachers, coaches, health professionals and other groups working in

educational environments should be made aware of gender discrimination in sport and

should adopt and implement the principles of gender equality.

Recommendations for Ministries of Education, school administrations, teachers of sports

organisations, sports organisations and federations

• Physical Education (PE) should promote and encourage male and female students to

a life-long commitment to physical activities and sport.

• Enhance physical education for boys and girls in all schools and provide

extracurricular activities in various sports and at various levels.

• Inform teachers and coaches about the principles and practises of gender equality in

sports.

• Inform students’ parents on the benefits of sport, in particular for girls.

• Invite sports clubs to present their programmes and activities and encourage female

students, in particular, to join a club.

• Invite elite female athletes to schools to share their experiences with students and

to encourage them to become active.

• Give lectures to inform girls about women in sport and about opportunities

available, e.g. as managers, coaches, referees and related jobs (management,

educators, referees/umpires, etc.).

Recommendations for the EU

• Support the implementation of the principles mentioned above in educational

institutions.

• Encourage exchange of principles and best practises with reference to gender

equality issues in an educational context in EU countries.

• Encourage the collection of gender segregated statistics of contents and

participation in PE and research about the effects of various forms of PE.

• Encourage the exchange of knowledge with regard to sport curricula, teaching

experiences and physical education teacher training.

Research and scientific communities

Women and men should have the same opportunities to become members of sports

scientific communities and to influence theories, methods and research topics.

Equal participation and equal treatment of women and men at all levels and in all fields of

sports sciences should be promoted.

Recommendations for University and Scientific Committees within sports organisations

• Women’s “sport cultures”, e.g. abilities, sensitivities and practises, should be a topic

of research studies.

• Develop education and training programmes that take women’s attitudes into

account in all training agencies, schools and universities.

• Enhance the awareness of gender inequality in sports sciences.

• Make female scholars and their work visible, e.g. through awards for female

scholars.

• Encourage networks of women in sports sciences.

• Guarantee transparency of selection criteria in recruitment processes for academic

positions, promotion and in fundraising.

• There should be opportunities for women and men to strike a balance between a

scientific career and private life.

• Reconciliation of private and professional life should not be considered a problem

but an asset that enriches the lives of both female and male scholars.

• The care of children must be considered as a task of both women and men, and

family needs must be taken into account in various ways, e.g. research abroad,

parental leave, etc.

• Change the sports science workplace culture based on hierarchy, competition and

self-exploitation (detrimental for both genders).

• Introduce a ban on harassment (including sexual harassment) in the scientific

community.

• Promote research and exchange of knowledge about gender issues in the academic

community.

Recommendations for the EU

• Support the training of women in technical roles, as well as in organisational

management and leadership roles, in sports sciences.

• Develop, implement and monitor goals and action plans to improve gender equality

in sports sciences.

• Develop guidelines for the scientific community and policy makers that target the

promotion of women.

• Assign quotas for women members of decision-making committees and related

bodies in the area of sports sciences.

• Set up grants and special funding for female sports researchers.

Women, sport and the media

Mass media has an enormous impact on the development of culture in the EU and must be

the first to embrace the principles and values of gender mainstreaming, not least the

priorities and recommendations established by this Charter.

Female athletes must have the same opportunities as men to be represented in mass

media.

Media coverage should respect the dignity of the individual.

Women should be equally represented in media-related positions, such as journalists,

photographers or editors.

Recommendations for sports organisations and federations

• Organisation of gender mainstreaming training workshops with journalists and

media workers.

• Increase space dedicated to women’s sports in the publications of sports

organisations.

• Create a digital platform where it is possible to download high-quality reports,

stories and portraits of athletes with particular emphasis on sportswomen.

• Encourage women, in particular female athletes, to address mass media and

demand coverage.

• Encourage female athletes to convey success stories and share best practises with

audiences/readers.

Recommendations for the EU

• Establish an annual European night of women in sport where female athletes get

attention and coverage.

• Support the publication of a magazine on women’s sports at all levels (from the top

echelons to grassroots), in order to give them more visibility.

Audiences and fans

Women should have the same opportunity as men to express their love of sport by being

fans and through their participation as members of fan communities.

Female fans should be respected as experts, given access to the core activities of

supporters groups and not be considered as merely uninformed spectators or consumers

who don’t share the group’s core ideals.

Recommendations for fan groups

• Speak up against sexist abuse in the stands.

• Do not take part in sexist chanting.

• Design a banner, a two-pole banner, a pin or a sticker with a strong message

objecting to sexism.

• Write an article in a fanzine, dedicate a fanzine to sexism in sport.

• Make sure that the statutes and regulations of sports clubs and federations include

explicit “anti-sexism” clauses.

• Change fan rituals, chants or fan clubs’ names that exclude women.

Recommendations for clubs and federations

• Encourage the presence of women at major football events by creating a welcoming,

women-friendly atmosphere.

• Statutes and regulations of sports federations and clubs should explicitly include a

ban on sexism and should contain concrete measures to react to sexist incidents.

• Sports federations and clubs should make the fight against sexism a priority.

• Sports federations and clubs shall include in their statutes clauses that explicitly

mention the rejection of sexism.

New rules for a new Europe

Europe is continuously evolving and has to face the changes and challenges of different

cultures that live within its borders on a daily basis. In order to be an open and democratic

society, it is fundamental that all rights established become applicable for all without any

form of discrimination.

These final paragraphs are suggestions for further thinking, research and a close

examination of topics regarding gender and equal opportunities.

– Sexual orientation and transgender athletes

Discrimination against individuals because of their sexual orientation is unacceptable at all

levels and in all areas of sport.

Special attention must be given to the rights and opportunities of transgendered persons in

sports clubs, federations and associations.

The opportunities for transgendered persons to participate in sports competitions must be

explored.

Potential solutions for the inclusion of these athletes in competitive sport must respect their

dignity and needs.

– Sexual harassment and abuse

Sexual harassment and abuse remain a problem in sport for both women and men alike. It is

important that this issue is discussed in Europe, providing a common basis for enhancing

awareness and training of trainers, teachers and coaches, as well as athletes and sports

participants. Sports clubs and federations must not only ban perpetrators, but also develop

strategies and measures to prevent or even eradicate sexual harassment.

– Prostitution

Sport is an important cultural reality, and even if it cannot solve alone all the problems of

discrimination and abuse in society, raising awareness of these issues is vital. Major sports

events often bring about issues of prostitution and procuring. On these occasions, women

are physically and psychologically affected. The European Parliament discussed the problem

on the occasion of the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany with a statement on the

“resolution on strategies to prevent the trafficking of women and children who are

vulnerable to sexual exploitation” (2004/2216(INI)). In order to help governments and

Institutions to tackle this phenomenon, it is also important for the sports world to speak up

through an information and awareness campaign.

Annex

Participation in sport

Eurobarometer statistics show that the participation of women in sport has been growing

considerably since the 1980’s. More women regularly practise sport or are athletes at a high

level. There is also an increase in the number and variety of sports practised. These changes

are positive and reflect the continuing evolution of European culture.

Nevertheless, problems remain for women practicing sport both at the amateur and

professional levels.

Eurobarometer statistics indicate a high abandon rate among women from age 25 to 50. The

main reason given is lack of time. This reflects the wide array of roles that women must play

in their lives and the difficulty they have in conciliating them (being wife, mother, daughter,

worker, etc.). Sports clubs are still structured according to a “man mentality” (in terms of

structure and time), and flexibility is insufficient.

Women athletes at high level have different problems mainly linked to motherhood. As a

matter of fact, there are very few maternity services at the federal level. Consequently,

women are faced with difficult choices.

Men’s and women’s awards in most national and international competitions are very

different.

The growing presence of women from different countries, cultures and religions is forcing

the sports world to rethink the practices and customs of sports and adapt facilities to the

new needs demanded by this specific target group.

Good Practices

ITALY: UISP Turin’s “Lo Sport delle ragazze” (Girls’ Sport) is a project targeting the city’s

female Muslim community that envisages the opening of two facilities dedicated to women

and girls and operated by UISP Turin. The venue is open to women of any nationality and

cultural background and offers courses as well as free-time and children’s activities. Its goal

is to bring people together and provide opportunities to socialize while promoting body

culture.

ITALY: UISP Genoa offers a mediation initiative called “Maghreb Olympic Centre”, set up in 1993 as part of another project. It has now become a full-fledged centre for second- and

third-generation children of migrants. The association is mainly active in Genoa’s city centre

and has about 200 members. Its primary role is to offer welcoming activities, provide a place

where migrants (especially women) can enjoy themselves and have a shower, wash their

clothes and have easy access to basic services. Along with these initiatives, sports initiatives

are promoted, in addition to recreational, artistic and musical workshops for young people.

Leadership

At present, women in Europe and worldwide are largely underrepresented in decisionmaking

positions in sports organisations and institutions in all areas and at all levels. Various

initiatives, e.g. by the IOC and by sports federations, have not eradicated the barriers that

prevent women from gaining access to leadership roles.

Currently, 17% of IOC members are women, and the average percentage of women on the

boards of over 70 international sports federations is less than 10%. Of these bodies, 29% do

not have a woman on their executive boards. Only 5 federations are headed by a female

president.

A similar under-representation of female leaders can be found among European

organisations: the percentage of women on the boards of the 52 European sports

federations is 11%, and more than one-third of the federations do not have a woman on

their board. The ENGSO (European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation) has 80% male

and 20% female members on its executive committee; the EOC (European Olympic

Committees) has an executive committee composed only of men.

The gender proportion of the executive boards of umbrella sports organisations in 11

selected countries is 79% to 21% in favour of men. Only 3 of the 18 umbrella federations

have a female president: the British Olympic Association (BOA), the British Sport and

Recreation Alliance (former CCPR) and the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee

and Confederation of Sport (NIF). NIF complies with the Norwegian gender equality law,

which demands positive discrimination to increase the proportion of women in decisionmaking processes.

A similar gender imbalance characterises the decision-making committees of sports

federations in all European countries.

In addition, men dominate in sports administrations in European governments and in

governmental agencies such as UK Sport and Sport England, responsible for the funding of

elite sport and sport for all. The board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic

Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) consists of 19 members, including one woman, HRH Princess Anne of England.

The low number of female leaders in sports institutions and organisations is astonishing

given the fact that more than 50% of women in Europe participate in sport and physical

activity. In countries such as Denmark or Germany, around 40% of sports clubs members are

female. These numbers testify to women’s interest in sport.

The imbalanced participation between women and men in decision-making in sport violates

the fundamental tenets of democracy and human rights, as well as the Convention on the

Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979. It

damages the credibility of sports institutions and calls for reform with the aim of equal

participation for women and men at all levels and in all areas of sport.

Good Practices

FRANCE: Setting aside positions for women in sports management is something that has

been tried successfully before. For example, judo is organised this way in France. The

proportion rule is written into the by-laws of the Federation for each level of the sport

(federation, local league, club). At the national level, the number of women in the executive

board of the Federation must be proportionate to the number of women members. Thus, in

this Federation, 27% of members are women. One can also find approximately the same

proportion on its Executive Board: 5 women out of 21, which counts for 23%. The same

proportion rules apply at league (League Executive Board) and club (club boards) level.

NORWAY: According to gender equality regulations in Norway, each gender shall be

represented with at least 40% of members when a public institution appoints or elects

committees, governing boards, councils, etc. with 4 members or more. Both genders shall be

represented on committees, etc. with 2 or 3 members.

ITALY: In order to enable the participation of managers with babies or young children at all

meetings, the UISP National Board has decided to pay the expenses for a person to assist

managers in taking care of their babies (partner, baby sitter, etc.). This measure, adopted in

2009, has enabled women to accept managerial positions (especially on the National Board

or Council) more easily, and has eliminated the need to choose between their role as mother

and their role as top leader.

Physical Education and scientific communities

The role of education is to promote the individual growth of all persons at all stages of life,

without discrimination of origin.

School curricula have a specific function: they must provide the means to expand cultural

knowledge and provide technical and interpersonal skills, physical mobility and social

relationships that are necessary for one’s “self” and for the body to promote a “healthy and

active lifestyle”. This attention for the “individual” should result in the adoption of processes

and educational programmes that integrate all differences of cultural approach.

Formal education at every level should centre on teaching people to care for the body,

allowing the expression of one’s “self” within relational contexts. It should use verbal and

non-verbal language to eliminate the risk of cultural stereotypes, exclusionary prejudices

and discriminatory attitudes.

Constant training for teachers is important because it can intervene in the delicate stages of

personality development on behaviour, language and skills.

Physical education hours in school must be strengthened in all age target groups. They

should undergo a gradual transition, from the budding recreational activities and

psychomotor skills learning to being increasingly directed at a number of choices, without

forcing one particular discipline, while always ensuring an environment that grants

opportunities for all.

Likewise, in the world of sports associations, the powers of sports operators must

increasingly be guided by the use of mainstreaming approaches, respectful and genderinclusive language and knowledge of gender differences. In such manner, pedagogical,

methodological and practical proposals respect differences among people.

Educators should always receive high-quality training: this ensures an high-quality offer,

adapted to all ages, skills, competences and interests – as the word “all” implies.

Good practices:

ITALY: The UISP project "Friendly body, education and respect of feelings", from September 2010 to August 2011, got underway during the current school year in 9 Italian cities: Florence, Turin, Sassari, Trieste, Pesaro, Varese, Imola (Bologna), Lamezia Terme

(Catanzaro)and Orvieto (Terni). The objective of the project "Friendly body" is to foster

consciousness about gender differences in a target group made up of boys and girls from

age 13 to 18.

Women, sport and the media

Female athletes and women’s sports/events are largely underrepresented in media

coverage of all kinds (press, TV).

Despite substantial evidence, lengthy debates and some improvements, particularly in the

“yellow press”, female athletes are presented differently from males, focusing on

appearance, femininity and sex appeal, so that their performance and sport endeavours may

not be taken seriously.

Women are largely underrepresented among sports journalists (less than 10% of sports

journalists are women).

The lack of media interest has a negative influence on the engagement of sponsors and

contributes to the lack of funding of women’s sports.

In proposing news, the image of women in sport is still dominated by a “male mentality”:

sportswomen have difficulty in reaching the first page even when they achieve a record or

win an important competition, while the description of female athletes contains terms

linked to their external appearance – such as beauty, elegant clothes, expressiveness.

Once again, in sport women are considered marginal and are only used to fill newspapers

pages. Neither are women’s competitions given much time on TV, underestimating the

growth of the phenomenon.

The number of female journalists is still very low and they do not hold very influential

positions. Women have little influence on editorial policy or newspaper headlines.

Audiences and fans

Many sports are still considered the exclusive domain of “men performing for men”. It is

considered that women do not have a place in these sports by nature and, consequently,

that they don’t concern them – either as active athletes or as interested spectators or fans.

When they express interest in a sport, women often face the following stereotype: “what do

you know about it – you are only after the handsome guys!”. When it comes to being an

active supporter, for example, women who go to football stadiums are often confronted

with blatant sexist abuse, rude attacks, fan rituals that are discriminating, clubs that “scent”

a new group of customers and, in general, football stakeholders that entrust female fans

with peacekeeping missions among the stands.

Football, in particular, but also other sports, are quite commonly surrounded with the halo

of a male-dominated domain[1] – allegedly because men have always been the ones who

practise the game and who follow it. This has lead to the claim that some sports are a shelter

for masculinity, that “by nature they are not meant for women” and therefore not open to

women, either as active athletes or as interested and/or active spectators or fans.

In football, this is only a half-truth. The history of female fans is closely interrelated with the

history of women’s football, as, in both cases, female involvement, engagement and

enthusiasm were ignored and oppressed.

From the very beginning of the development of modern football, women have played and

have watched football. With the current popularization and institutionalization of the sport

and the development of the notion that football should be an exercise in discipline for young

men and soldiers, women were banned from the game. Women’s teams throughout Europe

were banned from playing in stadiums and were not included in the subsequent

institutionalisation – for example in Germany, by the DFB, until 1970, and in England, by the

FA, until 1971. It was considered as unwomanly, indecorous and rude for women to play

football. However, although banned from FA structures, women played, and women have

been watching and regularly attending stadiums – also a fact that has been ignored.

Considering football fans as only male and football fan culture as solely a male domain

simply means to deny the fact that there have always been women watching matches in

stadiums as active and interested fans, an aspect which contributes to curtail their access to

this “holy sphere of football”.

The continuous and conscious re-construction of football and its stadiums as “grails of

masculinity” dissuades many girls and women to enter this “foreign territory”. Those who do

(approximately 25-27% of female spectators in German stadiums, for example) are

confronted with many different faces of sexism at different levels – from blatant sexist

abuse to bizarre expectations on the “function of femininity in this sport”:

● Clubs see women increasingly as consumers. Under the heading “pink

merchandising” T-shirts, scarves and jackets are produced: a) in a cliché-ridden

manner (do clubs produce light blue gadgets for men?) and b) ignoring clubs’

traditional colours, insinuating that female fans do not care about identifying with

their club.

● Clubs often offer women low-priced admission: gaining privileges is not the

problem, being treated equally is.

● Incentives to attract women to sport events are often included under the heading

“family friendly packages”.

● “Women on peace-keeping missions”. Football stakeholders consider women as the

ones who are able to “pacify” the stands, because they are by nature calm, less

aggressive and peace-loving.

● Television broadcasts of sports events often display pictures of scantily dressed

female fans as fillers.

● FAs publicly promote women’s football with clichés of emotion, softness, elegance:

these clichés are also transferred to how women behave in the stands.

● Fan clubs that exclude women by statutes.

● Fan clubs that have the term “boys” in their name.

● Chants that express openly sexist attitudes.

● Women who are involved and active in their fan scenes are often abused personally.

● Statements and comments that describe players or their performance on the pitch

as girl-like or girlish.

● More humiliating stadium entry procedures for women compared to those for men.

Although men often only need to lift their T-shirts, special tents are erected where

women must undress in front of the police.

Good Practices

EUROPE: F_in – Network (Women in Football). F_in is an international network of women

affiliated with football either as fans, fan workers (social work), researchers, players or

referees. F_in publishes articles, books, organises anti-discriminatory activities around the

FARE Action Week, reports sexist incidents in football and meets once a year in order to

exchange know-how and expertise and to develop new projects.

EUROPE: LGBT Fan clubs. The first German fan club of the LGBT community was established in Berlin and others soon followed. In the meantime these clubs are affiliated to the QFF – the Queer Football Fans. There are also LGBT fan clubs in France and Spain.

GERMANY: BAFF exhibition on racism, sexism and homophobia. BAFF (Alliance of active

Football Fans) is a German grouping of different fan groups, fanzines and individual football

fans who promote a pro-active fan culture that fights against racism, sexism and

homophobia. BAFF’s aim is basically to live and preserve a critical fan culture. Amongst other activities BAFF held an exhibition on discrimination in stadiums called “Tatort Stadion”

(Crime scene Stadium) that tours throughout Germany.

GERMANY: The “Stopp Rosa!“ (“Stop pink!”) campaign protests against pink merchandising and is organised by supporters of Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany. Aside from the fact that pink is not a colour of the club, this protest also targets the ongoing commercialisation in football, which goes hand in hand with attempts to silence critical fans.

Several supporters clubs of German football clubs, like the Schickeria of Bayern München or

fans from Darmstadt, designed and organised anti-sexist choreographies and banners.

AUSTRIA: During the OLYMPIA-project, FairPlay publishes a fanzine that is not about female fans but is written by female fans. The articles deal with different fan-relevant issues like police repression, football commercialisation or club ownership.

ITALY: UISP organises the Mondiali Antirazzisti (Anti-Racist World Cup), an annual football fans non-competitive tournament. Over the last few years, the organisers have also targeted sexism with a female tournament, self-defence courses for women and banners that help spread the message.

[1] There are also some sports that are perceived as solely female sports, such as synchronised swimming. Men who practise this sport are often considered gay, proving the strong connections between sexism and homophobia.

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