Gender mainstreaming in sport- Ongoing activities

Recently, Council of Europe along with the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research organized a training for Gender Equality Rapporteurs. Gender Equality Rapporteurs (GER), appointed from among the members of the steering committees and other intergovernmental structures of the Council of Europe. GERs should ensure that a gender perspective is properly integrated during the programming process of their respective committees (i.e. the process of identifying priorities, preparing activity proposals, setting-up and implementing the activities, and evaluating the results). In the long term the person appointed as the committee’s GER should not be expected to do this alone- it is a joint effort by representatives from particular committee to act as a whole.

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The Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy (2014-2017), is seen as a very focused but balanced document with overall aim to further enhance opportunities which will lead to the gender equality. Regarding strategic objectivities, there are 5 of them:

Definition Gender Mainstreaming

The concept of gender mainstreaming appeared for the first time in international texts after the United Nations Third World Conference on Women (Nairobi, 1985) with the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995) called for the promotion of gender mainstreaming. In 1998, the Council of Europe defined gender mainstreaming as: the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making.

Recommendation Rec(92)13rev on European Sport Charter, Recommendation Rec(2005)8 on the principles of good governance in sport and Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)9 on Code of Ethics served as “compass” for Recommendation on gender mainstreaming in sport which suggest ways how to improve (or custom-made) current normative framework within Pan-EU member states.

There are 2 projects initiatives specially addressed during a training session within info doc:

  • The Girls on the Move Leadership Programme implemented in Scotland aims to involve more young women as leaders in physical activity. The program targets young women who are already actively involved in sport and who wish to pass on their interest and enthusiasm to other girls and young women who are not yet active.
  • Local public funding for sports in Berlin was redistributed through a gender budgeting exercise by shifting public resources from the maintenance of (open) football grounds to sports halls – in which different sports could be exercised and which attract more women as well as mixed groups. This aimed to create better conditions for a less stereotypical practice of sports, while mitigating the dominance of football in public funding.

As a continuation of intense activities, The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) of the Council of Europe  organized a seminar on “Gender Mainstreaming in Sport in co-operation with European Women and Sport (EWS). Seminar was an outstanding opportunity to hear about different approaches/activities/possibilities conducted within various institutions/organizations from local and regional to the international level. Considering that it seems to be important to note following:

Where are we?

There is a relevant and adequate normative framework on GM in sport in place – both at EU and CoE level. This normative framework positively impacted and impacts the legislative initiatives and project activities at national levels. Despite these many and useful policy initiatives and projects activities the gap is still wide open between de jure equality and de facto inequality of women in sport.

The road ahead

The important question is how to use this positive background– with regards to the normative framework, the projects, the programmes and the awareness of key stakeholders in the field of GM – to the benefit of women in sport?

In close cooperation with the European Commission, EPAS would like to develop with key stakeholder’s gender equality indicators in sport in 2016. Conducted research would serve to develop a set of commonly agreed gender indicators in sport. These indicators shall help to collect and compare data across Pan-EU region in order to design tailor-made and targeted policies, projects and programmes that could be implemented. This shall help close the gap of a de jure equality with the de facto inequality of women in sport.

Remark: blog was created mainly by inputs from Mr Michael Trincker

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