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.
Established in 1978, the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport provides leadership and guidance to the various countries of the world, including nearly all UN members, who have signed said Charter in regard to good governance and good practice in sport and physical education. However, over the years it has become clear that revisions are necessary, particularly relating to the circumstances for girls and women. Various research and professional organizations, including WSF, have official consultative status to the United Nations and we are proud to serve as key contributors to advance equality in sport globally.
It is because of the health, education and leadership benefits of sports that the WSF lead a coalition of organizations to celebrate the first National Girls & Women in Sports Day in 1987. The day was established to honor and recognize women’s sports and the promise sports hold for girls and women everywhere.
On October 18, 2016, the WSF’s Sports Advocacy Network met for the first time. A collection of university administrators, athletic conference leaders, legal experts and collegiate coaches gathered together to craft an action plan to reverse the decline of female coaches and to work towards the pursuit of gender equity in sports.
Women’s sports want your support. Since the implementation of Title IX in 1972, female participation in athletics has grown from one in 27 to now two in five, yet women’s sports are less than 2% of sport stories in the media. Together we can change that and it starts by getting in the stands.
It never seemed quite fair, but the female athletes at Massapequa High School had always just accepted the sub-par quality of their locker room, while the boys boasted top amenities. Two dads familiar with Title IX decided to take action and, along with the WSF, create change.
There has been a steady increase in the participation of American women at the Olympics since the passage of Title IX and this summer we watched as hundreds of girls who benefited from this law made history.
Did you know that despite the expansion of opportunities for women since Title IX’s passage, the number of women coaching women’s teams at the collegiate level has declined significantly since? In 1972, more than 90% of the coaches of women’s teams were female. Today, that figure has fallen to only 43%.