Main Priority Area

Gender equality in sport


400 000 €



24 Months



The “Women in Sport: Gender Relations and Future Perspectives” (Women-UP) project is a European initiative aimed at addressing and rectifying the issue of gender discrimination in sports, despite sports being recognized by UNESCO as a fundamental right for all since 1978. The project is an extension of the previous AGES (“Addressing Gender Equality in Sport”) project that identified gender inequality issues in sports in Italy, Greece, and Spain, based on surveys conducted among parents, coaches, managers, teachers of physical education, children, and interviews with sports leaders.

The initial project’s findings revealed that while there is an increase in the number of women participating in sports, there are still numerous obstacles faced by women both in participation and in occupying managerial and technical roles. The data shows a disparity between male and female participation rates, particularly in adolescence and onwards, with the gender gap widening over time. The main reasons for this are a lack of opportunities, interest, and family support for girls. In mixed sports, girls’ roles are often minimized, and they’re mostly expected to follow orders given by boys.

Moreover, the perception of certain sports as masculine or feminine has led to gendered practices and at times exclusion from participation. Women are also underrepresented in decision-making bodies of sports institutions at all levels. The role of media, the societal perception of certain sports, and gender stereotypes are other significant factors contributing to the gender inequality in sports.

To combat these issues, the Women-UP project proposes multiple work packages aimed at promoting awareness, understanding barriers in female sports, providing training to coaches and managers, generating a decalogue of good practices, and promoting the dissemination of results and content generated during the project.

The European Union’s goal for 2030 is for all sports governing bodies to adopt a gender equality policy, with a balanced presence of men and women of at least 40% in national organizations and 30% in international sports organizations based in Europe. The Women-UP project, backed by the UCAM, seeks to support the EU’s objective and bring about behavioral change at the root of gender discrimination.


The objectives of the project, incorporating a European perspective, are:

  1. Enhancing awareness around issues of social inclusion in sports throughout Europe.
  2. Encouraging participation of trainers, teachers, and coaches from seven distinct European nations in training programs aimed at dismantling gender stereotypes and prejudices in sports.
  3. Engaging stakeholders and female athletes from various countries in initiatives intended to heighten their understanding of the necessity for effective promotion of gender equality in sports, as well as evaluating the effectiveness and impact of these initiatives.
  4. Generating educational resources that can be replicated in diverse contexts, thanks to the participation of partners from countries with varied socio-cultural, geographical, and historical backgrounds and disseminating these resources among stakeholders.
  5. Broadening the engagement of the participating organizations within the network of partners committed to European projects addressing gender-related concerns, thereby recognizing the significance and value these organizations attribute to collaborative initiatives on gender issues.

Project results:

R1: European Handbook for Gender Equality, Equity, Inclusion in Sport

R2: Innovative course curriculum

R3: Pedagogical material for e-learning training

R4: Decalogue of good practice



Collective Innovation


Catholic University of Murcia (Coordinator)

University of Thessaly


University of Thessaly


Champions Factory


Pamukkale University


Associazione Istituto CO.RI.




Polytechnic Institute of Viseu