WORKING GROUP ON GENDER EQUITY IN SPORT

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced a Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport to address the lack of equity.

Minister Kirsty Duncan Announces Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport

GATINEAU, April 24, 2018 – All Canadians should have the opportunity to get involved and excel in sport, regardless of gender, age and ability. They should be able to do so in an environment free of discrimination or harassment.

In 2016, the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) released the report Women in Sport: Fueling a Lifetime of Participation. It highlighted several areas of gender inequality for Canadian women in sport. According to the research, most Canadian women are missing out on the benefits of sport—while 41 percent of girls aged 3–17 do not participate in sport, this jumps to 84 percent in adult women. Other key findings showed that only 24 percent of all athletic director positions and 17 percent of all head coaching spots in Canadian Interuniversity Sport are held by women, and only 38 percent of senior staff and 29 percent of board members at national and multi-sport organizations are female.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced a Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport to address the lack of equity. The working group will be chaired by Guylaine Demers, a renowned professor at Université Laval and president of Égale Action.

The 12 members of the working group are:

Guylaine Demers (Chair); Chelsey Gotell; John Herdman; Waneek Horn-Miller; Bruce Kidd; Lorraine Lafrenière; Nancy Lee; Karin Lofstrom; Allison Sandmeyer-Graves; Carolyn Trono; Adam van Koeverden and Hayley Wickenheiser.

The members will share their experiences, perspectives and insights with Minister Duncan on how to achieve equity in sport by 2035 by discussing, among others, the following topics:

  1. Delivering programming specifically for women and girls in sport
  2. Addressing gender-based violence in sport including sexual harassment
  3. Increasing the representation of women in sport leadership positions

Members of the working group will review existing research and data, share personal experiences, discuss the challenges faced by women and girls in sport, examine issues that may affect participation, and propose ideas, approaches and strategies for eliminating barriers and increasing participation.

In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced a target to achieve gender equity in sport at every level by 2035. This included an initial commitment of $30 million over three years to support data and research into innovative practices to promote women and girls’ participation in sport, and to support national sports organizations in promoting greater inclusion of women and girls in all facets of sport.

The work that will be accomplished by this working group will inform and complement other initiatives aiming to achieve gender equity in sport.

Quotes
“I am pleased to announce the Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport, composed of 12 exceptional people ready to advance the Canadian sport system. Building on the work by female leaders that have come before us, the working group will be instrumental in guiding policy decisions that will ultimately better serve the needs of women and girls in sport. Thanks to the leadership, experience and knowledge of all the members, I know that together, we will contribute to our government’s commitment to achieve gender equity in sport at every level by 2035.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“I am honoured and thrilled by this opportunity. I have spent most of my life working to improve the position of girls and women in the world of sport, and I can assure you that I have plenty of ideas for Minister Duncan. I adore challenges, and I am going to take this one on with all my heart and passion for women’s sport.”

—Guylaine Demers, President of Égale Action and Chair of the Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport

“I am pleased to see the attention and focus on providing opportunities for women and girls through sport and sport leadership. What we need is action to make a difference, and I think this working group will do just that.”

—Hayley Wickenheiser

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