25 best practices
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MONITORING GENDER BALANCE (PRIZE MONEY) AT SPORT EVENTS
Organisation responsible: Sport Vlaanderen (Flemish Ministry of Sport)
Main topic addressed: Gender equality in participation (grassroots or elite sport)
Type of resource/practice: Legislation, policies, standards and guidelines
Target group(s): Managers of sport events
Timing: Since 2018
Brief description of the practice:
Organisations that are subsidised by the Flemish authorities for their (top) sports events are obliged to submit, along with their expense reports, an evaluation form. Since 2018, this evaluation form includes the following question:
“Which actions does your organisation take with regard to the equal treatment of men and women concerning prize money, starting fees or other payments? Please specify whether an equal treatment was applied and what your intentions are with this aspect for future events”.
Content and objectives: In the public policy concerning sports events, the Minister of Sports and the Administration of Sports (Sport Vlaanderen) have explicitly chosen to focus on gender-balance awareness and to apply the “comply or explain” principle.
The main objective is to achieve in the short and medium-term a gender equality concerning price money in (high level) competition events.
Steps/activities of the practice: Starting in 2018, the organisers of top sport events were requested to report if they applied the principle of equal gender balance in distribution of the prize money awarded to the winners.
The aim of the public policy behind this obligation to report on the gender balance is to evolve from an “awareness” to a stronger “commitment”, while still being voluntary.
Resources required: No extra resources required. The gender balance guidance is part of the overall obligations of the subsidy.
Achievements and outcomes: The final goal is that gender balance is no longer promoted or enforced top-down but rather is accepted and applied intrinsically by the organisers. This self-regulation approach is part of the long-term goals of the Flemish government’s policies.
Challenges and limitations: The biggest challenge is to engrain the gender balance in prize money as part of the “good governance” of Flemish, national and international sports federations who decide on the rules for prize money.
A limitation in this aim is that the gender balance can be achieved on the level of prize money, as explained above. However, a strong inequality could still subsist on the level of “start fees”, where often commercial interests play an important role.
Follow-up ideas and future plans: The plan is to extend this policy as of 2019 to all competitions that offer prize money. We also plan to produce an evaluation report on the respect of the gender balance, including for instance the percentage of events that reach the balance. This evaluation report will also allow us to identify the “laggards” and focus on them with remedial actions and extra promotion pushes. The collection of best practices will also create a positive effect on the overall community of organisers of sports events.
Further information: https://www.sport.vlaanderen/organisatoren-sportevenementen/
Contact person: Frank Bulcaen, Frank.Bulcaen@sport.vlaanderen