On 27th July 2022, the GAP women project (Gender Actions to increase Women’s Participation in Sports) has begun, lead by the Unió de Federacions de Catalunya (UFEC) and co-funded by the European Commission program Erasmus+. The project aims to eliminate the gender gap in the sport, and will count with the collaboration of nine partners.
Isabel Pérez, UFEC’s general secretary, has remembered that the institution has committed to incorporate female managers involved in the federative activity into the governing board. “Placing them in a decision-making role allows people visualize their contributions and promotes women sports practice, both actions are undoubtedly essential to achieve the effective equality”, has concluded Pérez
GAP women will promote the increase of women’s federative licenses, as well as the implication of those on management positions and on leadership.
Eliminating the gender gap in sports
Nowadays, it is not possible to say that modern sport has been able to get through gender bias and it is still needed to draw up an egalitarian perspective that would allow the eradication of the gender gap in federated sports.
The GAP project is firmly committed to adult women aged from 18 to 50, including those groups at risk of social exclusion (mental, intellectual or/and physical disabilities), organizations, federations, clubs and public administrations. The main goal of the project is to promote women’s role in the sporting world and the participation of those in management positions, trying to support equality and equity.
Milena de Murga, head of UFEC’s international and social action departments, and the creator of this project, has said that GAP women will carry out awareness and training campaigns to different clubs and federations of Europe. “ To make it possible, awareness-raising and training campaigns will be conducted at different clubs and federations in Europe, during the European Sport Week,” she explained.
Kick off with the collaborating entities
During the kick-off, the different projects and their main actors were presented.
Alla Krinitsina, in representation of the social projects done by UFEC, has exposed the multiple actions that will be done in order to achieve the 50% of feminine representation in the organisation projects like INSERsport ( employment insertion program focussed on sportive sector job), the Welcome League (sports league for refugees) and FES! project which combines the english learning with the focus on mental health in youngsters.
One of the project partners is the Federation of Subaquatic Activities (FEDCAS). Sara Font from FEDCAS, has remarked that the GAP project gives some continuity to the federation commitment, highlighting the “iceberg” project carried out during 2021 with the aim to increase the women’s participation in subaquatic sport activities.
The kick-off ended with a roundtable about: “The accessibility and participation of disabled women in federated sports”, where the chief of the Catalan Sports Federation for disabled people (ACELL) Marina Gómez has taken part, and also the vice-president of the Catalan Federation for blind people and elite swimmer Anaïs García.
“Without grassroots there is no elite”, has concluded García, remarking the huge importance of establishing detection and collaborative methods within the entities in order to promote the accessibility of kids in sports activities, which is the main mission of their federation.
On the other hand, Gómez has incised that it is crucial to confront the two biggest opponents of the disabled sportists: the familiar overprotection and the lack of facilities for the families with a disabled person.
The nine partners that form the project are: International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (Alemanya); Sports and Citizenship – Sport et Citoyenneté (França); International Sport and Culture Association (Dinamarca); European Non‐Governmental Sports Organisation (Suècia); Maiêutica – Cooperativa de Ensino Superior (Portugal); European Table Tennis Union (Luxemburg); Margherita Sport e Vita (Itàlia); Federació Catala d’Activitats Subaquàtiques (Catalunya); La Calle es Tuya (Espanya).