Equality - Women
UK Sport has a developed a number of initiatives to support the role of women in sport and to address any gaps in all aspects of sport - whether as an athlete, coach or administrator.
Women in Leadership Development Programme
The Women in Leadership Development Programme is one such initiative – formulated in partnership with CCPR and the British Olympic Foundation - which has been established to address the low level of women in senior administrative positions in sport. The programme has been a tremendous success with all individuals from the first programme (2006-2009) stating the programme had made a positive impact on themselves and their organisations. Approximately 70% had been promoted and 80% stated their confidence to lead had improved as a result of the bespoke training received.
UK Strategy Framework for Women and Sport
UK Sport formed the UK Co-ordinating Group on Women and Sport in 2001. This group was tasked with developing a strategy framework for Women and Sport with three main objectives:
- Participation: Increase participation by women and girls in a wide variety of sports, physical recreation activities and in physical education: Target - 5%
- Performance and Excellence: Enable women and girls with sporting ability to achieve excellence in the sport of their choice: Target - an additional 10 women per year performing in the World top 20
- Leadership: Increase the number of women leaders at all levels and in all capacities in sport and physical recreation: Target - at least 30% representation by women on strategic sports boards and committees.
The Group is chaired by Dr Anita White and members include representatives from the Womens’ Sports Foundation, Home Country Sports Councils, elite athletes and the Women’s National Commission.
An overall strategy report was produced, along with subsequent monitoring reports:
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European Women and Sport
UK Sport’s Head of Policy, Amanda Bennett is Chair of European Women and Sport (EWS) which is a network of men and women representing national and European sports organisations who are working towards gender equality.
EWS is the only European organisation whose sole aim is to increase opportunities for women and sport in Europe. The EWS Steering Group aims to:
- Maintain the network through events, website and newsletter
- Build strategic relationships with the bodies that make decisions and invest in sport, in order that the gender dimension can be considered and fostered
- Plan and deliver a European Women and Sport Conference. The next will take place in London in September 2011
- Promote policies, projects, good practice and advancement in women’s sport
International Olympic Committee – Women and Sport Commission
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women and Sport Commission was established in 1995 by the IOC President to advise the IOC Executive Board on suitable policies to be developed in this field. It meets once a year. On the basis of its recommendations, an action programme is developed and implemented by the IOC through its Section for Women's Advancement.
Great Britain is represented on the Women and Sport Working Group by Liz Ferris and Debbie Jevans.
In 1997, as part of its Women and Sport policy, the IOC established targets for women's membership of National Olympic Committee Executive Committees. These were for women to hold at least 10% of executive decision making positions by 2001 rising to 20% by 2005. Research was undertaken by the Institute of Sport and Leisure Policy at Loughborough and the IOC to evaluate the impact of the targets on structures, activities and people involved with NOCs.
The results were presented to delegates at the IOC World Conference on Women and Sport in Morocco in 2003, and provided evidence of ways in which the targets have been successful. They also provided greater impetus to further develop this policy and meet the targets for 2005.
Women into Paralympic Sport (WIPS)
The Commission for Women in Sport (CWIS) is a Standing Committee within the International Paralympic Committee. It is able to present Motions to the IPC Executive Committee and ensures that Women in Paralympic Sport is an ongoing focus of the organisation.
The first WIPS Regional Summit was held in December 2004 in Tehran. The I.R. Iran National Paralympic Committee organised and hosted the IPC Middle East Region WIPS Summit that included representatives from Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Qatar. This Summit produced several key outcomes including an action plan to increase opportunities in sport for girls and women with disabilities and a WIPS committee for the Region.
The network now has 100 members registered into the WIPS Network from 36 countries. Anyone interested in promoting women in Paralympic sport is invited to submit articles, enquiries, information on events such as conferences, meetings, clinics, programmes, athlete success stories, relevant news items or research findings. Submissions should be emailed to WIPS@paralympic.org
Further information is available from the IPC website.
International Working Group on Women and Sport
In 2003, UK Sport was delighted to host the annual meeting of the International Working Group (IWG) for Women and Sport at Bisham Abbey. During the course of the meeting, the UK Strategy for Women and Sport was launched.
The IWG was formed in 1994 to promote and monitor the implementation the Brighton Declaration by governments and national and international organisations worldwide. The IWG has also drawn up an action plan that targets areas and organisations where women and sport is not on the agenda and seeks the inclusion of issues relating to women and sport on major conferences.
World Conference on Women and Sport
The eighth World Conference on Women and Sport, organised by the IWG, was held in Sydney, May 2010.