"We do firmly believe that more needs to be done to achieve an acceptable representation of women in sport and sport governing bodies and to continue the fight against discrimination and sexual harassment towards women.”
Tine Teilmann, Chairperson of the International Paralympic Committee’s Women in Sport Committee, has been appointed to a European group of experts which has created proposals for a strategy for gender equality in sport.
Teilmann was nominated to the Group of Experts after a call by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner responsible for sport, following the European Women in Sport Conference in 2011 where it was concluded that there was a need for a more coherent approach to closing the gap between men and women on the field of play.
Taking into account various different developments already achieved, the Commissioner invited stakeholders within sport and the EU Member States to work together to develop a coherent plan, supported by concrete measures, to reach gender equality in sport by 2020.
The aim is to ensure that sport will be more attractive to all girls and women, whatever age or background - to participate, work, govern and enjoy sport, in a safe and secure environment. At the same time sport should be promoted as a tool to improve gender equality in society, as it has the potential to educate people for leadership, contribute to the skills needed for a role or profession and to prevent sexual harassment.
Media attention on sport also makes it an excellent tool to fight against negative gender stereotypes in sport and society as a whole.
Before the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in June 2012 Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Androulla Vassiliou congratulated the Presidents of the International Olympic Committee and IPC on the fact that London 2012 would be the very first Games where women were competing in every sport on their respective programmes:
"It is an important milestone in the long struggle for real gender balance between women and men in sport. Nevertheless, we do firmly believe that more needs to be done to achieve an acceptable representation of women in sport and sport governing bodies and to continue the fight against discrimination and sexual harassment towards women”.
The proposals created by the Group of Experts will be now turned into a strategy which can be implemented across organisations both in and outside of sport. The proposal invites stakeholders in the field of sport, including national governments and the European Commission, to develop concrete steps.