(Photo: Badminton Europe)
2021 off to an active start for the Gender Equity Ambassadors
Date: 3/11/2021 4:04 PM
Published by : BEC Staff
This year has seen a strong beginning for our Gender Equity Ambassadors with some great projects taking place. Here is what you may have missed.
Pillar of intervention in Portugal 
On January 24, 2021, the Portuguese Badminton Federation organised their first webinar that brought together women with important roles in different sports to talk about their experiences and paths, to characterise and contextualise the panorama at a national level. 

Ana Moura, the first female badminton athlete to represent Portugal at the Olympic Games, Elisabete Jacinto, an off-road driver and one of the first women in the world to compete in the Paris-Dakar rally driving a truck is currently the President of the Women and Sport Commission in the Olympic Committee of Portugal. Joana Gonçalves, former president of the Portuguese Hockey Federation from 2012 to 2016, the only female president of an Olympic sports federation in Portugal in this Olympic cycle, were the invited speakers. 

-The initiatives around the theme of gender equity in sport are an important pillar of intervention in order to empower athletes, coaches, referees, managers and other people involved in the sporting context with competences, critical judgment and co-responsibility in the construction of a fairer, freer and more supportive sport, Ana Moura added at the end of the webinar.

Good practices and getting attention
The second session, which took place on 31 January, was presented by women representing badminton in Portugal who assume different roles and functions, with the main objective of sharing good practices in relation to gender equity. 

Ana Santos (athlete, coach and President of the club Secção de Badminton da Associação Académica de Coimbra), Isabel Alves Pereira (athlete, umpire, referee and most recently director of the Portuguese Badminton Federation), Maria Rodrigues, (athlete, umpire, received the BEC Women in Badminton Scholarships in 2018) and Sónia Gonçalves (athlete of the national team since 2010, scholarship holder of the Olympic Committee of Portugal, in August 2020 became a mother for the first time and four months later became National Champion in women singles and women’s doubles), talked about some gender inequalities that continue to persist in badminton, from sports practices to the activity of coaches or managers, but also looked for strategic approaches to reduce obstacles and increase the participation of women in badminton.  

BEC Gender Equity Ambassador and General Secretary of the Portuguese Badminton Federation, Patrícia Rosa, was surprised by the great success of the event.

-The main objective of these webinars was to mobilise attention to a theme that must be a priority and to contribute to increasing female participation in badminton. The federation, associations, clubs, coaches, parents and all those involved in sports can and should play an active role in developing measures that attract girls to badminton like some of those mentioned in the second webinar: training camps for girls, courses for female coaches/umpires, grants for the development of projects that value the participation of young women in sports and attract new ones.

Both webinars were a success, around 40 participants attended each of the sessions representing a wide range of ages, with a slightly higher male participation, mostly parents/coaches of female athletes.  

Both webinars are available online, with English subtitles:  

Addressing unconscious bias in Scotland  
“Don’t be such a girl!”; “she is bossy”; “you cry like a girl”; “she is so strong, she plays like a man”…

Who has heard one sentence or comment of this type in his/ her sports life? 
Language is an essential part of our daily life, whether within the family circle, for social as well as professional interactions. This was the angle chosen for the webinar organised in January 2021, by Badminton Scotland and Katrina Gibbon, a researcher at Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre. 
As a sports organisation, Badminton Scotland is actively committed to diversity and inclusivity, as stated in its Equality Policy. The organisation endorses the principle of sports equality and will strive to ensure that everyone who wishes to be involved in badminton.

This question of unconscious gender bias in language is defined as follows: 

‘Unconscious gender bias (also referred to as implicit or second-generation gender bias) occurs when a person consciously rejects gender stereotypes but still unconsciously makes evaluations based on stereotypes’.

The webinar addressed three main topics to educate the participants on this question and challenge their own biases:  

-Gender & Sex: definitions  
-Framing of Gender in Sport: man as the norm and woman as “the other” same sports? Different or easier sport? Media coverage; Prize money, etc.  
-Gender Equity: how do we improve this situation? How do we challenge these unconscious biases?  

‘The powerful yet often invisible barriers to women’s advancement that arise from cultural beliefs about gender, as well as workplace structures, practices, and patterns of interaction that inadvertently favour men’.

The webinar also addressed solutions and perspectives to challenge this issue:  

• Develop awareness • Internal – within ourselves • External – within organisations Leads to • Identification of how this manifests within organisations • Agent of change 

The full webinar is available online here

For more information about Gender Equity and all our activities, click here


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