Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 marked the start of year two for the WSF’s Sports Advocacy Network. The WSF created SAN in 2016 to build on our research, Beyond X’s & O’S: Gender Bias and Coaches of Women’s College Sports, the most comprehensive evidence-based research report on the reality of the male and female coach experience as coaches of women’s teams.
On May 17-20, 2018, the 7th World Conference on Women and Sport will be held in Gabarone, Botswana offered by the International Working Group for Women and Sport [IWG]. For years, the Women’s Sports Foundation has been involved with the IWG and has attended every conference since their inception in 1994.
In celebration of Title IX’s 45th Anniversary, Deborah Slaner Larkin joined Sarah Spain, Kate Fagan and Cassidy Hubbarth for The Trifecta on ESPN Radio to discuss the good that Title IX has done, and where there is still progress to be made.
Last night, the Women’s Sports Foundation and WSF Founder Billie Jean King kicked off the 45th Anniversary of Title IX with a celebration at the New-York Historical Society. Our featured speakers included pioneer Billie Jean King, WSF CEO Deborah Antoine, WSF President Grete Eliassen, ESPN SportsCenter Coast to Coast co-anchor Cari Champion and WNBA President Lisa Borders.
In honor of the 45th Anniversary of Title IX, we would like to share a WSF Advocacy success story. This story represents just one of hundreds of inquiries the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Advocacy Department fields each year about Title IX and gender equity in sports.
Every year in March, women from around the world come together at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for the meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). For the ninth consecutive year, the WSF presented on a panel, along with other sport organizations, to engage in an interactive discussion on eliminating barriers to women’s economic advancement in sport.
In April, the Women’s Sports Foundation sent a letter to the President of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) urging them to overturn their rule on headgear in all sanctioned competitions. We are proud to see FIBA announce their change to its rule on headgear allowing players to wear headgear. Read our letter here.
WSF recently attended the 2017 NCAA Inclusion Forum where the purpose is to bring together higher education and intercollegiate athletics leaders and student-athletes who are passionate about improving the educational and professional environment for student-athletes, coaches and staff. This year the WSF was honored to take part in a session entitled “Equity on the Sidelines: Examining the X’s and O’s of Developing, Supporting and Advancing Women Coaches in Intercollegiate Athletics” with WSF’s Senior Manager of Advocacy and Programs, Sarah Axelson, taking the stage.
Before Title IX, only one in 27 girls played sports. Today, that number is two in five. Girls want to play too. This Women’s History Month, join us in celebrating the incredible achievements of women in sport since the passing of Title IX in 1972, as we honor them across our social platforms and here on the S.H.E. Network.
In part one of this two-part series, we explored the current emphasis on accountability in women’s sport equality globally. I and numerous others have contributed to the planning and strategy that will precede a high-level government meeting sponsored by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations this summer in Kazan, Russia. As a lead advocate of Title IX, the WSF is proud to continue the fight to ensure access to sport for all girls and women both nationally and abroad.