Changing the world is a team sport – the Finnish Student Sports Federation is helping to improve the position of girls in sports
Disturbing body-related comments, taking photos and videos without permission, harassment and advances. Rape attempt during travel to competition. These experiences by university sports are examples of gender harassment.
The position of girls and women in sports is poor. In certain sports, women are required to have more revealing clothing than men. Female athletes and managers receive much lower salary and compensation than men. Narrow gender norms limit participation in sports – regardless of the gender. Although equality in sports has been demanded more vocally in recent years, inequality still runs deep in the structures of society, and therefore also in sports.
Today, on 11 October, is the International Day of the Girl, with girls and sport as the theme. Plan International Finland calls for action to improve the status of girls also in the world of sports: girls have the right to do sports without any fear of harassment or violence. We need everyone on the same team to raise girls’ self-confidence and social status within sports. The Finnish Student Sports Federation shares these goals and is working to create more equality in sports.
Action to bring down barriers against inequality
Equality is a self-evident value in the Finnish Student Sports Federation. Along the years, we have highlighted problems and supported Finnish athletes who have been subjected to sexual crimes. We have conducted systematic equality planning and developed operating models, such as ethical rules and safe space principles, to root out inappropriate behaviour.
The Finnish Student Sports Federation subscribes to the principles of safe spaces, and our latest actions for equality and for the promotion of the status of girls was to create our own principles for university sports. The network of professionals in university education decided to start developing the principles of safe space and to develop an operating model to root out inappropriate behaviour in Finnish university sports. The Finnish Student Sports Federation is currently coordinating this work, due to be implemented in 2024.
By creating good operating models suitable for everyday situations, we can prevent inappropriate behaviour throughout all Finnish higher education. This means that we expose structures that cause inequality, and this is why we need campaigns such as the International Day of the Girl. Every disturbing comment, harassing photo and inappropriate touching is too much.
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Page last updated 11.10.2023