Australia

‘The system itself is still geared towards men’: Women in sport to be raised at skills summit

The unique challenges faced by women in the sports sector will be raised at the government’s jobs and skills summit in Canberra.

Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells hosted a roundtable for women in the industry earlier this week to help frame their issues ahead of the summit.

Sports may face a future where government funding is tied to quotas, while major events that governments help pay for could have their legacy programs scrutinised to ensure positive change.

“I think there’s a huge opportunity there,” Ms Wells told ABC’s The Ticket.

“Something that came up a lot [at the roundtable] was that often we’ve reached that point along the journey in government where often there are grants or one-off funding programs for women’s participation in sport or women’s leadership in sport.

“But the system itself is still geared towards men and male sport. Those programs are one-offs or adjuncts.

“What we actually want … is for the system to treat women’s sport with equality.

“And to acknowledge some of the different elements to being a woman athlete in both work and performance, makes them very different to just being a male athlete with boobs.”

When it comes to running sport women are still an anomaly, recently trending downwards.

Around 50 women were at the roundtable, including basketballer Lauren Jackson, the CEO of Paralympics Australia Catherine Clark and former Matilda now head of women’s performance at Football Australia Sarah Walsh.

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