Gender equality in sport
400 000 €
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:
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