ENGSO and its EWS Committee have been frontrunners in pushing for gender equality in sport for decades, building networks and projects, organising events that promote equality, and supporting the European sport movement to reach gender equality.
Aligned with the EWS Strategy 2024-2027, this new Position Paper on Gender Equality intends to give ENGSO members a clear picture of what ENGSO stands for and a practical inspiration to develop gender equality strategies/policies in their own organisations and networks at national level.
This evidence-based document focuses on the specificities of grassroots sport to advocate for and reach gender equality: “In a sport system historically built on a male/female dichotomy, the grassroots level provides an infinite ground for innovation and change, as it is more adaptable, flexible and bears the ability to be more accessible and welcoming than the elite sport level.”
For the first time, ENGSO proposes key definitions, such as gender and gender equality, to enable for a coordinated action at the European level, while acknowledging the variety of approaches between countries, and insisting on the importance of intersectionality: “Participation level also decreases with the duplication of disadvantages, for example for women with disabilities, women from diverse ethnic communities, or LGBTQ+ women.”
ENGSO believes that gender equality can build stronger societies, with more transparency and more dialogue, with the development of innovative sport and physical activity practices and the inclusion of individuals concerned in decision-making processes where they are directly affected.
ENGSO also draws recommendations for a pro-active grassroots sport movement through greater public commitment, efficient safeguarding programs, more positive athlete-centered coaching methods and the development of career pathways. The document points at the “trickle-down effect” observed from international to local level and encourages the creation of guidance and support programs for sport clubs (open spaces, steering mechanisms, education and training, male allies).
Its Position Paper on Gender Equality only reinforces ENGSO’s determination to continue advocating and acting for more equality, diversity and inclusion in sport and the role of its EWS Committee in coordinating the efforts for gender equality at the European level.
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