Message from the Editor

“The under-representation of women in sport, both with regards to its practice and governance, is still a fact today. “

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Mélanie Duparc, Secretary General of the World Union of Olympic Cities

Mélanie Duparc, Secretary General of the World Union of Olympic Cities

The under-representation of women in sport, both with regards to its practice and governance, is still a fact today. But this is by no means a plague anymore.

Over the last decade, the issue of women’s participation in sport has been addressed by a large number of stakeholders across multiple sectors. As a result, an impressive number of initiatives have emerged and have proven to be successful, providing women and girls equal opportunities to access sport.

The role of cities in the development of such initiatives have been crucial to their success and will continue to be so. In today’s complex world, modern cities are becoming the incubators for problem-solving, testing new and innovative solutions in order to face social and economic challenges.

This publication serves two purposes:

1) Give a voice to those who work hard, every day, to increase women’s and girls’ participation in sport

2) Inspire cities from around the world to take concrete actions

As such, Helsinki Deputy Mayor, Nasima Razmyar, explains how the City of Helsinki decided to adopt an overall strategy to include gender equality in all levels of their activities. Ani Chroni, President of WomenSport International, shares the WSI’s actions in bridging the gender gap and tells more about the role cities may take in achieving gender equality. And finally, the IWG’s General Secretary, Game Mothibi, tells us more about the IWG’s objectives and how it has contributed to facilitating access to sport for girls.

In addition, this publication highlights three concrete initiatives. First, a study conducted by the City of Geneva in order to identify the influencing factors in women’s sports participation and how the results have been used to develop bold policies. Second, the ‘WIN for KC’ programme developed by the Kansas City Sports Commission which offers girls and women the opportunity to take part in sports camps and events but also to serve as advisors, ambassadors and volunteers.

And finally, the ‘Gloves over Guns’ project from the Jamaican Boxing Board which has already proven successful in building girls’ self-esteem and confidence through boxing.

Enjoy the reading!