Promotion of women in sport: Action in Europe

Organised under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a three-day  international “Leadership and Talent Development” Women and Sport Seminar has brought together some 70 leading female figures representing a variety of sports, organisations, careers and experiences from over 30 countries to the capital of Poland, Warsaw.

The delegates were welcomed by Polish National Olympic Committee (NOC) President Andrzej Kraśnicki and the Minister for Sport and Tourism, Andrzej Biernat, as well as the IOC Member in Poland, Irena Szewinska, who is behind this seminar. The training sessions and discussions, held from 27 to 29 April, were also attended by Chair of the IOC Women and Sport Commission and IOC Member Lydia Nsekera.

Towards gender equality in decision-making

As for many previous seminars, the main theme focused on the place and role of women in contemporary sport. As indicated by its slogan, “I want to…; I can…; I will…”, the Warsaw seminar aimed to strengthen the participants’ knowledge and competences in management. It sought to empower them and help them access positions of responsibility in decision-making and administrative organs of NOCs and other national sports organisations. This is exactly in the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement.

The IOC reaffirmed its commitment to working with International Federations (IFs) and NOCs as well as various regional, national and international platforms, such as the UN and UN Women. It aims to increase the possibilities for girls and women in sport at all levels and to achieve the goal of female athletes representing 50 per cent of the athletes taking part in the Olympic Games, as well as to promote the participation and presence of women in sport generally.

Call to action  

Delegates taking part in the seminar were informed about the current situation of women and sport in the European Union through presentations from the Chair of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Gender Equality in Sport Commission, Daina Gudzineviciute, and member of the EOC Athletes’ Commission Tatiana Lebedeva. Helen Brownlee, Chair of the ONOC Women and Sport Commission, shared some of the best practices developed by Oceania NOCs for promoting women’s sport in the region.

During her speech, Lydia Nsekera reiterated the need for action: “On the field of play, we have almost reached our objective of parity. Off the field of play, it’s another story, another match that we have not yet won”, she said, before calling on the delegates to take responsibility and act so that more women can access positions of responsibility, either by standing as candidates themselves or supporting other women’s candidatures.
Learn more about the promotion of women in sport

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