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The future of sport and development: Making gender equality the priority

Males and females learning cricket in Papua New Guinea
Copyrights: Pacific Sports Partnerships (Photo)

The future of sport and development: Making gender equality the priority

We have identified ten themes that authors emphasised in our recent call for articles on the future of sport and development.

My hope […] is that the sport for development movement will see tackling this issue as not only as an opportunity for us but ultimately as a main priority. I hope that we will step up to the responsibility of teaching the largest demographic that plays sport [adolescent boys] about how we can live in peaceful and safe societies not just for men, but for all.

– Jon Hamilton, Inspire Football Foundation  

As the coronavirus pandemic has profoundly affected sport, including professional leagues and competitions, many have begun to question the role of sport in society. Should we be seeking to go back to business as usual? or is it time for sport to change? What needs to be done?

sportanddev recently published a call for articles on the future of sport and development, receiving a record 55 responses from writers across the world and from a range of backgrounds and sectors. We have analysed the published articles and identified 10 key and interlinked themes. The theme for this article is the need to build a more equitable and inclusive sport for development and sport sector.

sportanddev also hosted a webinar on the future of sport and development on 23 June, International Olympic Day with over 300 attendees! Click here to watch the recording.

Making gender equality the priority

Women and girls are particularly at risk during and after the current crisis. One article pointed out that the structures that control women have strengthened during lockdowns. Domestic violence rates have increased, and sex education, contraceptives, safe abortions and other reproductive health services are restricted. The COVID-19 lockdowns could lead to millions of unintended pregnancies if it goes on for six months, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

Writers emphasised that steps need to be taken to prevent gender-based violence and ensure previous progress on gender equality is not lost. They argued that sport needs to play a transformative role in tackling gender stereotypes and promoting equality.

They also urged men to play a greater role in promoting gender equality and preventing abuse of women. Adolescent males are the demographic that plays sport the most in many countries. Sport can therefore be particularly useful for educating boys about violence prevention and women’s rights.

What are the other topics writers emphasised? Find out more.

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Monday, June 29, 2020 - 18:19