7th IWG World Conference 2018, Regional meeting Europe, 17th May

On the first day of the 7th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport, in Botswana, meetings were held for each of the five regions in the world: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

Kristina Thurée, from the ENGSO EWS Committee and board member of IWG, chaired the European meeting, where 50 delegates participated. In total, at the conference there were 106 European delegates from 18 countries, but not all of them had arrived to the regional meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was:

  • Information gathering and sharing the challenges we have …

  • … with the focus on solutions, examples of good practices and new ideas on successful actions.

The agenda included both presentations and a workshop with discussions in small groups in the following themes:

  1. IWG, the history and the international scene today

  2. Overview of Europe and important stakeholders

  3. European Commission

  4. Council of Europe

  5. European Olympic Committees

  6. The QUEEN Recommendations, EWS Conference 2016

  7. Discussions:

  8. Challenges you meet

  9. The solutions you have achieved, examples and ideas, actions to success

  10. Support that you need – from ENGSO EWS, from the governmental organisations and perhaps others

  11. Summary – Examples of good practices

Kristina Thurée gave an introduction of both the history of EWS (European Women and Sport 1993-2016) and IWG (founded 1994), and the international scene today.

  • She concluded with saying that we now see a cultural wave demanding women’s equality and fair treatment, probably with the energy from last years’ #metoo campaign.

She also said that many world and national leaders see sport as one of the tools to empower women worldwide, and to develop society. Therefore, both women and men are needed in sport at all levels and in all functions and roles.

Kristina Thurée at the Regional meeting (Photo credit: Anett Fodor)

Important stakeholders for EWS – since 2016, ENGSO EWS Committee (Equality Within Sport) – are:

  • NGO’s; sport organisations in Europe (European Umbrella Sport Organisations and European Sport Federations)

  • GO’s; European Commission and Council of Europe

Three of the stakeholders made presentations on their current news and important ongoing activities:

  • EOC (European Olympic Committees)

  • Vaida Masalskyte presenting the role for the EOC Gender Equality in Sport Commission and ongoing activities within EOC. Election to the new commission will take place in the near future.

Vaida Masalskyte presenting the role for the EOC Gender Equality in Sport Commission

  • European Commission

  • Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, Director for Innovation, International Cooperation & Sport at DG EAC, and Paola Ottonello, Policy and Communication officer, Gender equality in Sport, at the European Commission – presented the following ongoing activities on gender equality in sport and the EU:

- general activities: European Week of Sport/ #BeActive, EU Work Plan for Sport 2017-2020 (policy orientation), and Erasmus+ Sport Programme (financial support)

- specific on gender equality in sport: the strategic actions 2014-2020 and recommendations, studies on Gender-based violence in sport (2016) and Mapping and analysis of education schemes for coaches from a gender perspective (2017), and pledge on good governance and promoting social inclusion through sport (#BeInclusive)

Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva from the European Commission presenting the ongoing activities on gender equality in sport and the EU

  • Council of Europe

  • Clotilde Talleu presented both the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on gender mainstreaming in sport (2015) and three projects, in co-operation with the European Commission:

  • Balance in sport - Tools to implement gender equality » (2016)

  • Identifying and testing generally agreed gender equality indicators in sport

  • 5 strategic areas: leadership, coaching, participation, gender-based violence and media, 4 pilot countries involved: Finland, France, Romania and Spain

  • ALL IN – Towards gender balance in sport (2018-19), where the objectives are helping public authorities and sport organisations in policy and strategy work, extending and standardising the data collection, and developing concrete materials and activities

  • Pro-Safe Sport+ (PSS+) (2017): fighting gender-based violence against children in sport

  • And the Council of Europe’s call “Start to talk"

In the WORKSHOP, which was formed in 10 groups with 4-6 persons in each, the following questions were discussed:

  1. Challenges you meet

  2. The solutions you have achieved, examples and ideas, actions to succeed

  3. Support that you need – from ENGSO EWS, from the GOs, from others?

Good examples of practices were shared; the discussions went high, and concluded by presenting the main items to the rest of the groups.

In summary, the European delegates raised the following:

  • More information is needed and to be in touch between the conferences, e.g information on topics, exchanging of ideas and experiences

  • Big challenges: Number of women in decision-making bodies and in coaching roles

  • Change culture, quality education to raise awareness and to mainstream

  • Change the structures – normalise women in sport

  • Funding is needed

  • NGO’s and GO’s to co-operate inside society

  • Use social media for visibilityIWG

And last but not least …

  • To raise the conversation – don’t be so polite!

​ENGSO's Honorary President, Birgitta Kervinen raising the conversation from the floor

#IWGGaborone2018 #IWG #KristinaThurée #CouncilofEurope #EuropeanCommission