Recap: do gender equality policies in sport really work?

Bridging the different national realities of grassroots sport across Europe.

Based on the recently published ENGSO Position Paper on Gender Equality, the Equality Within Sport (EWS) Committee of ENGSO organised an online seminar on July 5th, 2023 to explore the differences and similarities between realities of grassroots sport across Europe and discuss the efficiency of gender equality policies. 

Ews Seminar
Ews Seminar 2

ENGSO Vice-President Filipa Godinho (Portuguese Sport Confederation) welcomed participants and speakers Mirjana Ivkovic (NOC Serbia and ENGSO Youth), Sandro Araújo (Portuguese Cycling Federation and Portugal Paralympic Committee) and Erik van Haaren (NOC*NSF and ENGSO Youth Vice-Chair). 


After a presentation of the ENGSO Position Paper on Gender Equality, EWS Vice-Chair Tarja Krum (Finlands Svenska Idrott) led the discussion.


“If we want a society that is inclusive, productive and resilient, we have no other way than to ensure gender equality.” Erik van Haaren


Erik van Haaren believes sport can do better and lead the change that would echo in the rest of society. He referred to the “one big desk of equality” and the necessity to consider intersectionality when developing gender equality policies, distancing itself from the “one size fits all” solutions. 


Mirjana Ivkovic gave an interesting example of a Serbian program to empower female refugees, which was successful thanks to the support of male allies and Serbian female role models to boost participation. She highlighted the cultural differences existing across Europe and within countries, and the importance of monitoring the changes on the field with short and long term goals. 


“We need to be humble.” Sandro Araújo


Sandro Araújo reminded participants of the bumps along the way and the need not only to bring change, but also to consolidate it, being aware of the backclashes. He insisted on having a holistic approach and cultural understanding when drafting gender equality policies in sport.


The speakers considered the ENGSO Position Paper on Gender Equality have a positive tone and not “fall in the trap of imposing one way”. (Sandro Araújo). It was unanimously referred to as a good tool to initiate local or national policies and initiatives. Before leaving the seminar, participants of the online seminar shared one word that qualified the event and the next actions they could take in their organisation to improve gender equality.

Ews Seminar On Gender Equality


Filipa Godinho.jpg

Filipa Godinho

ENGSO Vice President 

Filipa Godinho is ENGSO’s Vice-President and board member of the Portuguese Sport Confederation (PSC). She holds a PhD in Sport Management since 2019 Portugal and the European Model of Sport – Statistics and Constraints” and was awarded the Women’s Youth Leadership Award in 2016 by the Portuguese Olympic Committee.

Tarja Krum

Tarja Krum

EWS Vice Chair

Tarja Krum works as a Sustainability manager at the Swedish Sports Association in Finland. Equality and inclusion is one of the main topics she works with daily. She is also the Vice-Chair of the ENGSOs Equality within Sports committee. She is also a member of the International Ice Swimming Association’s Age Committee.

Mirjana Engso Youth

Mirjana Ivkovic, 

ENGSO Youth Committee member

Mirjana Ivkovic is an ENGSO Youth committee member and a passionate sport volunteer. She is the Olympic Values Promotion Coordinator of the NOC of Serbia, where she also supports the work of the “Women & Sport” Commission. As a Young Leader, she also led the “Hi 5 Happy Caravan” project, which aimed at the inclusion of refugees into society through sports, physical activity and play.

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Sandro Araújo,

Vice President of the Portuguese Cycling Federation (FPC)


​​Sandro Araújo holds the vice-presidency of the Portuguese Cycling Federation (FPC) since 2013, directing para-cycling and the National “Cycling for All” Programme, including projects such as the Para-Cycling World Road Championships – Cascais (2021) and initiatives such as “Cycling goes to School” and “Cyclin ‘Portugal”. He is also the vice-president of the Portugal Paralympic Committee since 2017 and a member of the Government’s Workgroup for Gender Equality in Sports (2022-23).

Erik Van Haaren


ENGSO Youth Vice Chair 

Erik van Haaren is a sport psychologist, entrepreneur and also works in the Center for Safe Sports at the Dutch Olympic Committee and Dutch Sports federation (NOC*NSF). He is a sport enthousiast (hockey, cycling) and coaches several talents and high-performance athletes to improve their mental performance. He was recently elected Vice-Chair of ENGSO Youth.​​

Ews Promotion 2

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