An OSCE-initiated discussion on the topic “Women in Sport – Towards Enhancing Equality” aimed at raising awareness on challenges that exist for women in sports and highlighting the commitment of the OSCE to promote gender equality, took place in Vienna on 20 April 2012.
The discussion was organized by the OSCE Gender Section on the margins of the Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting held by the Irish Chairmanship and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights on “Combating Racism, Intolerance and Discrimination in Society through Sport”. It brought together over thirty Ambassadors and other representatives of OSCE participating States, OSCE Institutions, international and civil society organisations.
Miroslava Beham, OSCE Senior Adviser on Gender Issues, said in her address to the participants: “Accomplishments of women in sports show that sport is a valuable tool for women’s empowerment, for challenging gender stereotypes and for attaining gender equality.”
“There is a clear need to continue the debate of gender equality in sports, to help make all sports accessible to women, ensure that more women occupy management positions in sports organisations and work as sports journalists."
Christa Prets, the President of the Association “100% Sport”, who was a keynote speaker at the event emphasized the important role of the media in combating discrimination of women in sport and the positive impact of sharing of best practices between states and organizations in facilitating this.
The meeting participants also discussed challenges in allocating resources to female sport, barriers which still exist for women’s participation in sports in many cultures, and the specifics of the situation in minority and Roma communities.