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Disparity, inequality and discrimination experienced by women in the world of sport

Question écrite de Mme Stefania ZAMBELLI - Commission européenne

Question de Mme Stefania ZAMBELLI,

Diffusée le 7 mars 2024

Subject: Disparity, inequality and discrimination experienced by women in the world of sport

A great deal of progress has been made in recent years in involving women in the world of sport, both in management and in terms of participation.

However, systematic disparities and inequality persist. Only 22% of national sports federation chiefs in the EU are women and not one woman features in the list of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes. Discrimination is palpable even in terms of the visibility of women's sports and the acquisition of TV rights (with media not giving women's sports events the recognition they deserve), equal pay (female football players in the Serie A league are paid 34 time less, on average, than their male counterparts) and training conditions (there is a lack of facilities, kit and appropriate insurance cover, with many female athletes having to take unpaid leave or holiday to attend training and competitions).

In light of this highly inhibitive situation, which hampers women’s participation in sports, can the Commission clarify what it is doing to tackle the systematic discrimination and inequality women are subjected to and to ensure equal treatment for men and women in sport, once and for all?


Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 9 juin 2024

Answer given by Ms Ivanova on behalf of the European Commission

(27 May 2024)

Gender equality is a core value of the EU, as highlighted in the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 (1). The strategy delivers on the Commission’s commitment to achieving an EU of equality by setting out the policy objectives and key actions for the 2020-2025 period.

In the framework of the current EU Work Plan for Sport (2021-2024) (2), the Commission established a High-Level Group on Gender Equality in sport that issued recommendations (3) and an action plan covering key issues such as participation, coaching and officiating, leadership, social and economic aspects of sport, media coverage and gender-based violence.

The Commission acts in accordance with its competence in the field of sport by providing evidence, enabling outreach, convening a dialogue with sport stakeholders, and promoting good practices.

Through the Erasmus+ programme, the Commission supports projects (4) in this field. The All in Plus project (5), in cooperation with the Council of Europe, aims to address gender imbalance, increase the representation of women in sport, and raise awareness about gender inequalities in sport. Moreover, gender equality in sport is a central principle determining the eligibility of individuals, projects, and organisations for funding under the programme.

Through the European Week of Sport, the Commission invites women and girls to be active and showcasing role models. The Commission also recognises exemplary projects that acknowledge the added value of more gender equality in the field of sport, provide safe sporting environments for girls, empower women to build resilience and self-confidence, through the ‘Be Equal award’ (6).

Gender equality in sport was also on the agenda of various events such as the 2023 EU Sport Forum and the Gender Equality Conference. Stakeholders and experts regularly meet and share their views on challenges in sport (high-level group discussions, panels, or other sessions).

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