Gender Equality Commissioner notes need to change mindset on women’s sports

The Commissioner for Gender Equality, Josie Christodoulou, will promote a study on the extent to which women's sports are presented in the media in relation to the presentation of men's sports in an effort to capture the prevailing image so her Office can proceed with action, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, to change perceptions in this field. The decision was taken during a round table discussion between the Commissioner and members of the Cyprus Union of Sports Journalists which examined the need to change the mindset regarding women's sports and the way women's sports is viewed in Cyprus. "We consider it very important in the new strategy to have two new directions. One concerns women and sports, which was never part of the strategy before, to see how we can promote girls in sports equally. The second concerns gender and the media," the Commissioner said. The Commissioner for Gender Equality explained that what is important is to find ways for both genders to be promoted equally by the media, both in the number of journalists and athletes. In her remarks Christodoulou referred to recent examples of adverse discrimination against female athletes, recalling the initial exclusion of the National Girls' Team (U16) in basketball. She also talked about the limited coverage of the Women's FIFA World Cup matches, as well as the fact that the event was ultimately overshadowed by the greater exposure of the incident of sexual harassment of an athlete from the winning Spanish team by their coach. The representative of the Cyprus Sports Organisation (CSO), Ioanna Paraskevopoulou, agreed with the Commissioner's intention to promote a study on the representation of women's sports in the media, to have tangible facts and data that will serve as the basis for action plans. In addition, she said that within the framework of the Erasmus All in+ programme, CSO is distributing questionnaires to stakeholders to obtain initial feedback in this direction.

Source: Cyprus News Agency