New Commonwealth Games Gender Equality Taskforce aims to deliver for women and girls through sport
A Transformation 2022 Gender Equality Taskforce with a mandate to “leave no stone unturned” in pursuit of gender equality opportunities across the Commonwealth sporting spectrum has been set up by Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), it will be announced today at the Commonwealth Secretariat’s inaugural Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit.
The Taskforce, headed by CGF Vice Presidents Kereyn Smith (New Zealand) and Bruce Robertson (Canada), will work with sporting stakeholders, including future Games and Youth Games Host Cities, International Federations and member Commonwealth Games Associations to comprehensively audit and explore opportunities for gender equality across all of the Commonwealth Sport Movement’s activities and impacts.
Louise Martin CBE, elected as the Federation’s first-ever female President in September 2015, said: “I am passionately committed to ensuring that we live our values of Humanity, Equality, Destiny in everything we do. I’ve asked our Transformation 2022 Gender Equality Taskforce to leave no stone unturned as they explore how Commonwealth sport and everyone in our diverse sporting family can better deliver for women and girls.
“I believe our dynamic sporting movement has an important part to play in an energised, engaged and empowered Commonwealth of Nations and Territories, and especially so in this Year of ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth.’ We are delighted to be participating in today’s Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit and look forward to playing a lead role in realising ambitions and opportunities through sport for all Commonwealth citizens.”
The Taskforce will scope and oversee plans to achieve athlete equality in both opportunity and participation at the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Youth Games; a progressive approach to gender equity across team and technical officials at the Games; strategies to increase the number of women coaches; gender equity across CGF and CGA Governance; and mandates for bid and host cities to increase the participation of women as board members, paid staff and volunteers in Organising Committees of the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games.
The CGF will also support and work in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and other strategic partners to advocate for gender equality in the Commonwealth, helping break down barriers to girls and women and promote the importance and benefits of equal rights among boys and men, in particular those participating and leading in sport.
Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland said: “This will be the first of a series of meetings we will hold together as women leaders of the Commonwealth. I want to re-invigorate the Commonwealth’s commitments on gender equality and the global goals, and it is great to see the Commonwealth Games Federation playing an active and leading part to help level the playing field for women and girls, in sport and throughout society.”
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games presented the highest percentage of medal events for women – 48.5% – of any major games in history, a significant step towards the realisation of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s vision of gender equality.
The CGF has already implemented a number of other initiatives in support of gender equity including: having both women and men represented in Vice-Presidential elections, setting a target for gender equality in technical officials officiating at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and ensuring equity in athlete participation guaranteed through athlete quotas at Durban 2022. Last week, the CGF welcomed the ambitious intention of the International Cricket Council to propose, for the first time ever at a major Games, Women’s Cricket to the sports programme of the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The inaugural Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit has been convened by Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland to inform work on the Secretariat’s Gender Equality Framework 2020. The event brings together female leaders from across the Commonwealth to discuss the road map to 2020 across three specific subject areas: violence against women and girls, women in leadership and women’s economic empowerment.