Manama, Bahrain, October 31, 2022: The curtain came down on the inaugural OCA Gender Equity Seminar on Monday, October 31, with livewire organiser Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa presenting a list of recommendations for Asian National Olympic Committees to evaluate and implement.
Sheikha Hayat, Chair of the OCA Gender Equity Committee and OCA Executive Board Member, said the recommendations were based on the feedback of delegates from the 42 NOCs.
“We have focused on what you have said over the last two days and the end result is this list of recommendations. Hopefully at the next seminar – I don’t know when or where – we will get a tangible result,” Sheikha Hayat noted.
The two-day seminar saw an expert group of panellists, including representatives from the International Olympic Committee, UN, UNESCO, Red Cross and other private organisations tackle three main topics: (a) women representation and participation; (b) best practices to enhance gender equity; and (c) grassroots strategies.
“We are all together in one boat, but I’m confident that soon, one day we will all reach our destination,” Sheikha Hayat told delegates in her closing address.
The recommendations are:
Topic 1 - Women representation and participation
· Encourage women participation in the Executive Board Members and Standing Committees by forging the way to our young leaders starting with Education and Awareness.
· Encourage and educate female athletes to prepare them for post-career involvement.
· Balance media portrayal of men and women to give them equal exposure opportunities.
· Introduce and maintain Safeguarding Policies to protect and ensure women participation and appointing a safeguarding officer to enforce the implementation process.
· Ensure and enforce equal development opportunities for men and women (Executive, Staff, Athletes, Coaches and Referees Development)
Topic 2 - Best Practices to enhance Gender Equity
· All NOCs to have strategies and action plan which goes parallel with OCA and IOC recommendations and objectives.
· Conduct research, collect data and designate a liaison for following up, monitoring and implementing their strategy objectives.
· The importance of having legislations in all countries that support women sports.
· NOCs are encouraged to benefit from IOC’s publications such as IOC Safeguard toolkit, IOC Portrayal Guidelines, and safe play.
· Forums and webinars to be held for empowering women to cope with the updated information from the OCA and the IOC.
· NOCs to benefit from the best practices provided by the IOC as a result of the international surveys held in 2019 and other updated surveys.
· NOCs to benefit from programmes offered by the IOC and OCA in supporting women empowerment and gender equality.
· To create a network and collaborate with International, Continental and National sports entities.
· NOCs to consider IOC 2021-2025 recommendations.
Topic 3 - Grassroots strategies
· The OCA to call on NOCs to encourage equal participation for women & girls starting from grassroots level (participation, venues, etc.).
· Fair allocation of resources and benefits
· NOCs to supervise National Sports Associations to implement gender equality in all levels especially participation in league matches with different age categories.
· NOCs to include in their own strategy a clear road map targeting grassroots objectives.
NOCs to establish a monitoring system to ensure that National Sports Associations are committed to the grassroots objectives.