A renewed effort is needed to achieve gender equality in sport, according to Fine Gael Senator and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport, Micheál Carrigy.
Senator Carrigy said “A fundamental aim of our National Sports Policy is to increase the level of participation by women and girls in sport and physical education. The policy commits to eliminating the gender gap in sports participation by 2027.
“This cannot be done without a renewed effort by Government, and all involved in governing sport across this country.
“The Programme for Government commits to increasing funding year on year for the Sport Ireland’s Women in Sports programme, and I’m pleased to say it is increasing €3m to €4m for the 2021/22 funding cycle. But despite significant progress, women’s sport still lags significantly behind.
“Increased funding is needed to put women’s sport on a level playing pitch and achieve our 2027 aim. If we are serious about equality, then we must ensure parity of funding.
“It’s not just about funding of course. Government and sports bodies across the country need to listen to the concerns of female athletes when it comes to parity of treatment. Today’s letter to Government from the Irish Women’s Rugby Team is a case in point and the Minister and Department of Sport are treating it with the seriousness it deserves. Let’s see results now for this group of elite athletes.
“The 20×20 campaign targeted 20% improvements up to end of 2020 in the areas of media coverage of women’s sport, female participant in all areas of sport, and attendance at women’s games and events.
“This was a really high-profile campaign with a lot of momentum behind it and yet despite its achievements there is still a lot to do. No organised campaign has yet replaced the 20×20 initiative and if we are to achieve true equality in sport by 2027 then we will need an increased effort from all concerned, Senator Carrigy concluded.