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Gender Issues in Disability Sport: Strategies for Engaging Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Issues in Disability Sport: Strategies for Engaging Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Issues in Disability Sport: Strategies for Engaging Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity

2 Speaker Overview – Ann Cody Director of Policy and Global Outreach, BlazeSports America International Paralympic Committee, Governing Board IOC 2018 Commission Paralympian (1984, 1988, 1992)

3 Current Situation of Girls & women w/ Disabilities: Represent 10% of all females worldwide or 325 million people Are among the more vulnerable and marginalized of society (General Assembly, June 2000) Have a literacy rate of 1% (UNDP) Current Situation of Girls and Women with Disabilities

4 Make up 25% of the global workforce (UN) Are at significant risk due to stigmas associated with both disability and gender Are seldom consulted or incorporated into development projects Have the most to gain from sport participation Current Situation of Girls and Women with Disabilities

5 Experience prejudice based on gender and disability Women with disabilities have double or triple the challenges Experience barriers to competition, training, team selection, field of play and leadership positions Challenges of Women in Paralympic Sport

6 Sport Benefits Sport builds confidence, improves academic success Sport develops skills like teamwork, goal-setting, the pursuit of excellence Sport enhances function, mobility and independence

7 Sport Benefits Sport provides a strong network, peer support and mentoring Sport reduces depression, substance abuse and other risky behaviors

8 International Platforms and Conventions UN Convention on the Rights of Women - Brighton Declaration IOC Gender Equity Policy IPC Gender Equity Policy UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

9 International Platforms and Conventions Brighton Declaration (1995) The Principles : 1.Equity and Equality in Society and Sport 2.Facilities 3.School and Junior Sport 4.Developing Participation 5.High Performance Sport 6.Leadership in Sport 7.Education, Training and Development 8.Sports Information and Research 9.Resources 10.Domestic and International Cooperation

10 IPC mission – increasing the participation of women is a priority. - Brighton Declaration of 1995 Sport competition opportunities and slots for women. Develop women leaders and opportunities in leadership positions. International Paralympic Committee

11 IPC Women in Sport Committee Regional Leadership Summits - Iran hosted 1 st Womens Summit in 2004 BlazeSports Womens International Leadership Academy Africa Womens Projects (example of good practice) Initiatives for Women

12 Sport policy changes and organized advocacy - 50/50 Solidarity Funding - Universality Wild Cards - Strategic Decisions (ex: Womens Wheelchair Basketball for Sydney; equal number photos in brochures etc.) Sport specific development projects BlazeSports internships Grassroots advocacy - Importance of coalitions and networking - Mentoring emerging women leaders - Engaging mens support in advocacy for women Initiatives for Women


14 More women are taking leadership positions in sports organizations, NPCs and IPC. There has been a steady increase in the participation rate of female athletes over the past four Paralympic Games. (24% to 35%) There has been a remarkable increase in the number of countries bringing female athletes to Paralympic Games (47% – 80%). What Are We Doing Well?


16 1960 Rome –32% women athletes* 1964 Tokyo – 30% women athletes* 1968 Tel Aviv – 25% women athletes 1972 Heidelberg – 29% women athletes 1976 Toronto – 21 % women athletes 1980 Arnhem – 26% women athletes 1984 New York/Stoke Mandeville – 26% women athletes 1988 Seoul – 22% women athletes 1992 Barcelona – 23% women athletes 1996 Atlanta – 24% women athletes 2000 Sydney – 26% women athletes 2004 Athens – 31% women athletes 2008 Beijing – 35% women athletes * Based on medalists data Women in Paralympic Games

17 1976 Örnsköldsvik – 17% women athletes 1980 Geilo – 23% women athletes 1984 Innsbruck – 22% women athletes 1988 Innsbruck – 20% women athletes 1992 Tignes/Albertville – 21% women athletes 1994 Lillehammer – 19% women athletes 1998 Nagano – 22% women athletes 2002 Salt Lake City – 21% women athletes 2006 Torino – 21% women athletes 2010 Vancouver – 24% women athletes Women in Paralympic Winter Games


19 What Do We Need to Do?

20 Increase participation of women and girls at the local level Provide women with more competitive sports opportunities Showcase women athletes and sports Involve women in outreach programs to recruit more female athletes Develop more women coaches What Do We Need to Do?

21 Provide training and education opportunities to enable girls and women to become leaders in their community Showcase women as successful athletes, coaches, officials, role models, and leaders Include women in visible decision-making positions or bodies What Do We Need to Do?


23 Why Paralympic Sport?

24 Enhances the quality of life Creates environment for success Increases visibility and awareness Enriches the environment for all participants Produces highly effective results (education, employment, independence) Paralympic Sport:

25 How Do We Empower Girls and Women in Paralympic Sport? Provide opportunities Secure resources to sustain programs Ensure choice Build skills Change lives

26 Recommendations?

27 Recognize girls and women with disabilities as a global sport responsibility Engage girls and women with disabilities as stakeholders, athletes, coaches, role models, and leaders Require all projects to include girls and women with disabilities Fund projects that target girls and women with disabilities Recommendations

28 Thank You

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