The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been advocating for greater gender equality in and through sport for three decades. In March 2017, the IOC Gender Equality Review Project was launched through a joint initiative of the IOC’s Women in Sport and Athletes’ Commissions to carry-out a comprehensive review of the current state of gender equality in the Olympic Movement.
This project resulted in 25 bold and action-orientated recommendations covering sport-related matters of participation, portrayal and funding, and broader matters around the role and opportunities for women in organisational governance and the importance of inclusive organisational cultures and diversity in leadership.
The Gender Equality Review Project had a mandate to “push gender equality globally” and produce “action-oriented recommendations for change”. The Working Group was composed of IOC Members, National Olympic Committee (NOC), and Summer and Winter International Sport Federation (IF) representatives. All were selected for the leadership of gender equality efforts within their own organisations.
The intent was not to repeat or re-invent the wheel. Instead, the focus was on providing a solution-based approach to achieving gender equality on and off the field of play by reviewing existing materials and examples in order to create ideas relevant to the world we live and work in now.
“While we have seen improvements in gender equality in sport, we need more, and quickly. We can’t just arrive at 50-50 representation in competition and say the job is done.”Marisol Casado Chair of IOC Gender Equality Working Group
The result was 25 bold and challenging recommendations approved by the IOC Executive Board in February 2018 forging a new path in advancing gender equality in the sporting arena and beyond across five key themes: Sport, Funding, Governance, Portrayal and Human Resources. The recommendations build on existing policies and practices in other organisations. They are focused on achieving tangible results to ultimately remove barriers preventing women and girls from participating in sport and to strengthen gender equality at all levels of sport across the entire Olympic Movement.