Policy cycle in sport
In this phase, it is recommended that information is gathered on the situation of women and men in a particular area. This means looking for sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics, as well as checking for the existence of studies, programme or project reports, and/or evaluations from previous periods.
Examples of gender and sport statistics
At the EU level, relevant databases and indices have been developed to address the dimension of gender and sport. Don’t forget to check databases that may also exist at the level of the Member States.
Eurostat labour force survey (EU-LFS)
The Eurostat labour force survey (EU-LFS) provides the main aggregated statistics on labour market outcomes in the European Union. Tables on population, employment, working hours, permanency of the job, professional status etc. are included. It provides disaggregated statistics by sex, age groups, economic activity, education attainment and field of education, from which it is possible to measure the characteristics of labour force of women, by age, activity status and economic activity (including sport).
Eurostat statistics on income, social inclusion and living conditions (EU-SILC)
Eurostat statistics on income, social inclusion and living conditions cover objective and subjective aspects of these themes in both monetary and non-monetary terms for both households and individuals. EU-SILC provides cross-sectional and longitudinal information on income, poverty, social exclusion, health and labour conditions, housing conditions disaggregated by sex and other socio-demographic variables. Ad-hoc modules are developed each year in order to complement the variables permanently collected in EU-SILC with supplementary variables highlighting unexplored aspects of social inclusion. In 2006, an ad-hoc module on social participation (including sport) was developed.
Special Eurobarometer 412, sport and physical activity
The Eurobarometer survey, sport and physical activity, is the most recent and updated survey on the issue at the EU-28 level. It follows comparable surveys conducted in 2002 and 2009, and provides data to support the developing policy framework for promoting sport and physical activity. This survey was carried out by TNS Opinion & Social in the 28 Member States of the European Union between 23 November and 2 December 2013. Some 27,919 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home in their mother tongue on behalf of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture (Sport Unit). The methodology used is that of Eurobarometer surveys as carried out by the Directorate-General for Communication (Strategy, Corporate Communication Actions and Eurobarometer Unit). Annexed to the report are the technical specifications related to the manner in which interviews were conducted, the questionnaire and the result tables.
European quality of life survey (EQLS)
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) carried out by Eurofoundation provides data on taking part in sports or physical exercises, disaggregated by sex. Data are available online.
Harmonised European time use surveys (HETUS 2000)
The results of the first wave of the Eurostat Harmonised European Time Use Surveys (HETUS 2000), carried out by several European countries between 1998 and 2006, included some statistics on participation on sports and outdoor activities disaggregated by sex.
Examples of studies, research and reports
European Commission, Special Eurobarometer 412 – Sport and physical activity, March 2014
The Eurobarometer survey follows on from comparable surveys conducted in 2002 and 2009. It provides data to support the developing policy framework for promoting sport and physical activity. It includes several data, disaggregated by sex, on the participation in sport and physical activity and level of engagement.
Byerly, C. (2013). Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media
International Women’s Media Foundation, New York.
The findings presented in this report, conducted over a two-year period, offer the most complete picture to date of women’s status globally in news media ownership, publishing, governance, reporting, editing, photojournalism, broadcast production and other media jobs. More than 150 researchers interviewed executives at more than 500 companies in 59 nations using a 12-page questionnaire.
Braund, C. (2014). Gender Balance in Global Sports Report
Women on Boards, London.
The Gender Balance in Global Sport Report is authored by Women on Boards and delivers a baseline dataset on the participation of women on sports governing bodies in the lead up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The report is intended to create the inaugural publicly available dataset on the number of women serving on sports governing bodies; set a benchmark from which to drive improvements in the number of women on sports governing bodies; and highlight the importance of gender balance in improved governance and risk management practices for sports bodies.
The Commonwealth Games bodies form the core of the dataset, with the majority of Olympic countries and sports also included in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
Council of Europe (2011). Gender equality and (elite) sport (EPAS (2011) INF 25)
Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. Prepared by G. Pfister, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
The focus of this report is elite sport, which includes athletes, coaches and key executives.
One of the first steps to take when defining your policy/project/programme is to gather information and analyse the situation of women and men in the respective policy domain. The information and data you collect will allow understanding of the reality and assist you in designing your policy, programme or project. Specific methods that can be used in this phase are gender analysis and gender impact assessment.
Example of gender analysis
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) (2005) - Gender and sport: Mainstreaming gender in sports projects.
This guide provides insight into how to mainstream gender equality in sport and development projects. It covers all stages of project cycle management: analysis, consultation, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. For each stage, it lists key questions to prompt discussion and reflection, together with additional information and suggestions for improving practice.
Example of a gender impact assessment
The sports department of the city of Helsinki carried out a gender impact assessment in 2007. Equality work in the department was based on the department’s first gender equality plan, completed in 1997, and the city of Helsinki’s sports policy for 2001 – 2010 which included equality considerations in the goals and proposed measures. Cooperation between sports organisations and the Ministry of Education and Culture has played an important role in improving women’s position and promoting equality in the field of sports. The ministry guides sports organisations in improving equality in two ways. It grants development and project subsidies to sports organisations to advance different aspects of equality work. In addition, the advancement of gender equality is included in the criteria of the government grant system for sports organisations. Moreover, one of the purposes of the government grant issued to the Finnish Sports Federation (FSF) since 1995 is advancement of gender equality. In the equality work carried out by the FSF, the Ministry of Education has been the principle financier, cooperation partner and creator of guidelines.
Consider consulting stakeholders (e.g. gender experts, civil society organisations) on the topic at hand, to share and validate your findings and to improve your policy or programme proposal. This will enhance the learning process on the subject for all those involved and will improve the quality of the work done at the EU level. Stakeholders consultation process will start in this phase, but could also be considered as an important method to be applied along all the policy cycle’s phases.
Examples of stakeholders that can be consulted
- European Women and Sport Group (EWS)
- CIO – Women in Sport Commission
- International Working Group on Women and Sport
In this phase, it is relevant to analyse budgets from a gender perspective. Gender budgeting is used to identify how budget allocations contribute to promoting gender equality by assessing and making plans to meet the different needs of women and men in sports. Gender budgeting gives visibility to how much public money is spent for women and men respectively. Thus, gender budgeting ensures that public funds are fairly distributed between women and men. It also contributes to accountability and transparency about how public funds are being spent.
Example of gender budgeting in sport
Schins-Derksen, E.M. et al. (2007). Doelgericht begroten in de sport
Gender Budget Analyse bij zes gemeenten. Marktplan Diversiteit and E-Quality, Amsterdam.
Gender budget analysis of sporting activities in six cities in the Netherlands.
The study revealed the sports preferences of different groups in society, men and women in general, age groups and ethnic groups, disaggregated by sex. By tracing the budget allocations for different sports, it became evident that most of the money was dedicated to male-dominated sports. It also showed which groups in society are not participating in sports – for example women of ethnic minorities, particularly Muslim girls and women, showed a very low degree of participation in sports. The study formulated recommendations on how to promote gender equality in the sector. It is the task of the municipality board to question the use of the budget and to design a new, more gender-balanced policy strategy for sport at local level.
When planning, don’t forget to establish monitoring and evaluation systems and indicators that will allow measurement and comparison of the impact of the policy or programme on women and men over the timeframe of its implementation. Remember to define the appropriate times to monitor and evaluate your policy.
Examples of indicators for monitoring gender and sport
Women’s participation in sport
This indicator measures the level of participation of women (and men) in sport activities. The main updated source of data is the Special Eurobarometer 412, sport and physical activity survey, from which the percentage of women (and men) involved in sport activities is included. According to the survey, in 2014 men were more likely than women to exercise or play sport: 45% of men did so at least once a week, compared with 37% of women; 37% of men never exercised or played sport, compared with 47% of women. The difference between men and women was strongest in the younger age groups: 74% of men aged 15 – 24 exercised or played sport at least once a week, compared with 55% of women in the same age group. The gender gap is narrower for older age groups, with men exercising or playing sport only slightly more than women in the 40 – 54 and 55+ age groups.
Similar data could be found also in the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS). Men take part in sport and physical exercise 43.9% at least once a week, compared with 35.9% of women.
When preparing calls for proposals in the framework of funding programmes, or terms of reference in the context of public procurement procedures (notably for contractors to be hired for policy support services), don’t forget to formalise gender-related requirements. This will ensure that the projects and services which the European Commission will fund are not gender-blind or gender-biased.
Example of procurement
Gender equality requirements in public procurement
SALAR (Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions) has published a guide to the legal possibilities of imposing gender equality requirements on public procurements. The guide has primarily been issued for politicians who wish to increase their knowledge on gender equality issues and to improve the quality of services. It provides concrete examples of how requirements in public procurement can be carried out, and aims to encourage local authorities to start using this as an instrument to advance gender equality. SALAR has developed two checklists that can be used as a basis for discussion when establishing the requirements. The checklists can be applied to different sectors including sport.
In the implementation phase of a policy or programme, ensure that all who are involved are sufficiently aware about the relevant gender objectives and plans. If this is not the case, set up briefings and capacity-building initiatives according to staff needs. Think about researchers, proposal evaluators, monitoring and evaluation experts, scientific officers, programme committee members, etc.
Examples of capacity-building initiatives about gender and sport
Sever, C. Gender and Sport: Mainstreaming gender in sports projects. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
This booklet looks at how to mainstream gender equality in sports projects and programmes. It also explains how it can be used as starting points for wider educational activities such as literacy classes and training in life skills.
During the implementation of your policy or programme, publications, communications, press releases might be issued. Don’t forget to give visibility to gender issues and to pay attention to the language and visuals: these can convey gender stereotypes and gendered concepts, but they can also contribute to deconstructing stereotypes.
Example of gender language in sport
Centre for Gender Equality (2006). Sports, media and stereotypes: Women and men in sports and media
Centre for Gender Equality, Akureyri, Iceland.
The purpose of this summary report is to provide an overview of the main findings of the SMS project (sports, media and stereotypes) – women and men in sports and media. The project was promoted and coordinated by the Centre for Gender Equality in Iceland, the national authority for gender equality issues in Iceland, and received substantial financial support from the European Union. The purpose of this project was to contribute to the knowledge of representation of women and men in the sports media in Europe and to promote change in the stereotypes presented of both genders in this field and in general to increase gender awareness.
A policy cycle or programme should be checked both during (monitoring) and at the end (evaluation) of its implementation.
Monitoring the ongoing work allows for a follow-up of progress and remedying possibly unforeseen difficulties. This exercise should take into account the indicators delineated in the planning phase and data collection based on those indicators.
At the end of a policy cycle or programme, a gender-sensitive evaluation should take place. Make your evaluation publicly accessible and strategically disseminate its results to promote its learning potential.
Example of monitoring and evaluation on gender and sport
Coalter, F. (2006). Sport-in-Development: A monitoring and evaluation manual. University of Stirling
This manual provides a framework for the establishment, development and management of sport-in-development organisations and programmes. The premise of the manual is that a process-led approach will contribute to staff development and capacity building, greater organisational integration, and more coherently designed and consistently delivered programmes.
Eguaoje, B. T. (2007). Bridging the gender gap in sport leadership: An evaluation of female soccer coaches. Dissertation: Nova south-Eastern University
The purposes of the study were to determine, through the perceptions of 15 female soccer coaches, what barriers exist for females in the profession of soccer coaching and to identify the reasons for the declining number of females who enter and remain in the profession of soccer coaching.