Presentation on theme: "The Contribution of Sports to Gender Equality and Womens Empowerment International Conference on Women Sports in Rwanda on Gender Equity and Social Change."— Presentation transcript:
The Contribution of Sports to Gender Equality and Womens Empowerment International Conference on Women Sports in Rwanda on Gender Equity and Social Change Dr Shirley Randell AM Rwanda April 2007
SNV Rwanda Outline of Presentation Personal Experiences of Discrimination Current Statistics and Examples from Womens Participation in Sports Areas of Reform: Legislative Initiatives, Private Sector Reforms, and UN Promotion of Womens Sports Benefits of Womens Participation in Sport Sport as a Tool of Gender Empowerment
SNV Rwanda Womens Marginalisation and Trivialisation in Sport Disparities in Participation- At school, in Professional Sports Settings Disparities in Rewards- Prizes, Recognition Disparities in Media Attention Use of Degrading Language Cultural and Religious Barriers to Girls Participation
SNV Rwanda Coverage of Womens Sports in Rwandan Newspapers, March 07
SNV Rwanda Lack of Female Role Models in Sport Sample of girls and boys in Zambia asked to name their sports idol: 61% of girls could not name a sportsperson of those who could, only 19% named a woman. Only 13% of boys could not name a sports idol. None named a woman. Girls miss out on the encouragement and inspiration of female role models, and exhilaration of cheering for a sports idol.
SNV Rwanda Olympic Games are a Source of Inspiration International Olympic Committee, and networks covering the Games, have made an effort to give equal airtime to mens and womens events. In the months following the games, there is a surge in girls participating in sports. Girls are inspired by the female sports figures they see on tv and in newspapers.
SNV Rwanda Discriminatory and Biased Language It is so fantastic! Girls beat the world to grab first gold -The Age, 26 March 2007
SNV Rwanda Discriminatory and Biased Language cont. Language used to describe womens sports reinforces societys gender stereotypes. Common to hear references to female athletes inferior strength, athleticism, sexuality, physical appearance. Judged in comparison to male athletes.
SNV Rwanda Cultural and Religious Barriers to Womens Participation in Sport Sporting world divided into masculine and feminine sports Restrictions on womens clothing, free time, and access to public spaces may prevent girls from participating in sport. Some professional sports organizations still bar women from participating.
SNV Rwanda Reforms at the Policy Level Organizations have emerged to support womens participation in sport, many headed by female athletes who have experienced bias themselves. International Working Group on Women and Sport
SNV Rwanda Evidence of Change Tennis tournaments offering equal prizes Royal & Ancient Golf Club in Scotland - allow women to play Americas Title IX Policy In Rwanda, an explosion of womens sports - 25 Sports Leagues have registered both mens and womens teams
SNV Rwanda How do girls benefit from sports? Health Builds Confidence and Body Consciousness Teamwork Skills Role Models Peace Building Promotes Economic Development Builds Workplace Skills Promotes National Pride
SNV Rwanda Empowering Women through Sport Sports provide a space in which gender norms and stereotypes can be challenged- Notions of feminine and masculine can be redefined. Sports help to break social barriers, such as those which control womens behavior or limit womens participation in public life.
SNV Rwanda Sport Opportunities for Congolese Girls For some girls it will be good for them, because those that would prevent them, namely their parents, have accepted sport and play in camp and so when they return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they should still be free to continue. -Mama Salima, Right to Play Coach
SNV Rwanda Empowering Pacific Girls through Netball There are many Pacific role models in netball and opportunities for leadership in sport arise early for our young Pacific girls – becoming a team captain, going on to become coaches, umpires, club captains and administrators. The leadership experience gained at a young age through sport can and should spur our young Pacific women to strive for leadership positions as they grow and become adults. -Hon. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, First Pacific Woman in New Zealands Parliament
SNV Rwanda Sport Prepares Girls for Workplace Present an Illusion of Confidence Comfort with making mistakes Confidence to take on new positions and tasks Teaches teamwork skills such as loyalty Comfort with pressure, deadlines, and competition
SNV Rwanda Removing Social and Economic Barriers to Women & Girls Participation Girls and boys experience exclusion from sports in different ways Poverty can prevent participation in ways that are not anticipated Finding ways to work around social constraints can provide girls with opportunities to engage in sports
SNV Rwanda Conclusion With self-confidence, leadership and teamwork skills girls are equipped to further challenge social norms and barriers which oppress them. Participation in sports is important for personal growth of our girls, but also promotes gender equality and development goals. We should encourage and facilitate these opportunities whenever possible.