EU conference explores gender equality in sport

The European Commission is organising its first conference on Gender Equality in Sport in Vilnius, Lithuania this week.

The conference takes place tomorrow and Wednesday (3 and 4 December) and will feature high level speakers from the world of politics, sport and the NGO sector.

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for sport, will speak as will athletes such as Dutch Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis player Esther Vergeer and the coach of the German national gymnastics team Ulla Koch.

The event brings together women’s sport activists and representatives of NGO from across Europe. The Fare network will have a number of delegates from diverse ethnic backgrounds to highlight the intersections of the struggle for equal rights in and through sport.

The commission hopes the conference can be a key event in the development of a new EU ‘dimension in sport’ and aims to discuss measures and objectives on advancing gender equality between women and men in sport.

A statement said “The results of the conference could influence policies and initiatives at national level as well as feed into the future Work Plan on Sport of the European Union.

“The results of the conference could also contribute to define priorities and concrete measures on this topic in the framework of the sport chapter of the EU programme Erasmus Plus 2014-2020, leading to the implementation of concrete measures in the future.”

The conference comes as the negotiations on a new sport programme for the EU are underway. The Erasmus for All programme will be the means through which the Commission proposes to disseminate funding for sport totalling nearly €240 million between 2014 and 2020.

The final amount will depend on the outcome of the negotiations on the overall EU budget. In the past four years the EU has allocated more than €30 million for transnational sport projects and special annual events.

The agenda for the conference has been published

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