The gender dimension within sport policies and programmes is of critical importance for UNESCO. The International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, adopted by UNESCO’s 38th General Conference, affirms that ‘equal opportunity to participate and be involved at all supervision and decision-making levels in physical education, physical activity and sport, whether for the purpose of recreation, health promotion or high performance, is the right of every girl and every woman that must be actively enforced’.
UNESCO’s physical education and sport programmes endeavour to mainstream the gender dimension, which can be structured around three main types of interventions:
- enforce the right of girls and women to participate in physical education, physical activity and sport at all levels;
- protect participating girls and women from harassment, misconduct and abuse;
- use sport to promote gender equality and empower girls and women;
These issues are reflected, in the Kazan Action Plan (KAP) and, especially, its Action 4 'Conduct a feasibility study on the establishment of the Global Observatory for Women, Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport'. UNESCO coordinates this Action with the support from the Swiss Confederation, which is also committed to host the Observatory.
Action 4 of the KAP plays an important role in the fulfilment of the SDG 5 of the Agenda 2030, which states the need to ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.
To achieve these goals and promote women’s and girl’s empowerment and gender equality in and through sport, UNESCO works in partnership with national and international organisations, including notably:
- UN Women
- International Working Group on Women and Sport, International Association for Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women, Women Sport International
- Regional and/or continental intergovernmental organizations
- International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, other international sports organizations
- Sporting goods industry and the wider business community