Gender equality is one of the key principles of the European Commission, to be mainstreamed in all its policies, including sport. The EU Work Plan for Sport 2017-2020 promotes gender equality as one of the main objectives of the Commission's actions and initiatives in the field of sport.
The main underlying challenge is to encourage more girls and women to participate in sport, as statistics show that female inactivity levels are even higher than the already worrying trends of the overall population in the EU.
How the Commission promotes gender equality in sport
The European Commission actively works with all Member States and sport organisations to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality in sport. Gender equality is also considered one of the foundation principles of good governance in sport organisations. Gender equality in sport is also a general principle underpinning all priorities eligible for funding under Erasmus+ Sport, and projects supporting women's sport are actively encouraged.
The EU strives to provide a safe and positive sporting environment, fighting against gender-based violence in sport and negative gender stereotypes, both in sport and in the media.
The future of gender equality in sport
Promoting equality in sport is a complex, multi-generational process. The Commission therefore aims to:
- promote to female role models that could inspire younger generations
- achieve gender balance in decision-making positions - for example by removing barriers and actively encouraging women to take up leadership roles within sport organisation.
- encourage gender equality in coaching by facilitating access to coach education and, ultimately, to a more balanced profession.