Sport plays an important role in society and its overall development. Working on the FAMS project encourages and supports improvement of policy, institutional and sport-specific domains not only on the individual but also on the collective level.
Together with our partners from Belgium, Romania, Serbia and Croatia, we collaborated on a report reflecting sports practices and policy-driven conditions for gender equality in each partner’s country. The reports produced by each partner were based on empirically collected data from field research and systematized questionnaires. Hence the overall body of work It presents the findings conducted by national research teams within six countries focusing on their particular sports ecosystems. The overall findings suggest that in addition to gender imbalance for participation in organized physical activity, women are significantly less represented in sports professional positions. This includes professions like coaches, referees administration and leadership or executive roles. Based on data from all the studies conducted within the project the share of female representation is less than 20%. For example in Croatia, sports are dominated by men and 89% of the 35 sports federations have a male president, and only four (11%) federations have a female president.
Each of the partners made general recommendations related to gender equality which is one of the fundamental principles of the acquis (the collection of common rights and obligations that constitute the body of EU law) of the European Union. Among the reports at the national level, there were a variety of approaches for improvement and future work:
- Bulgaria and Belgium addressed the problem through education in schools and grassroots sport clubs.
- Croatia’s report reflects on the need for public authorities to encourage new policies promoting gender equality in the field of sports.
- Italy’s research draws on the need to promote and support the participation of women in sports through education and awareness campaigns including the Italian National Olympic Committee’s (CONI) Women and Sport Commission.
- Romania’s report addressed the need for inclusion of provisions in the regulations and statutes of sports organizations that include positive actions in favor of the underrepresented gender at the decision-making level.
- Serbia emphasizes the need to conduct a revision of the Law on Sport by enforcing a quotas system for reaching more gender balance in governing bodies and decision-making positions.
If you want to delve deeper into the topic of sports and gender equality, the report is free to access by anyone who wants to learn more.
All available here on the project’s platform https://fams-project.eu/