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01 December 2020 | in Gender Equality

FISU Gender Equality Committee and Working Group hold webinar for FISU Student Ambassadors

Sport is known to be one of the most powerful tools for promoting inclusion and diversity, where gender equality plays a big role. Gender equality in university sport is much more than gender balance at FISU events, but it also includes gender equality in university sport governance and administration. This was one of many topics covered on 30 November by the FISU Gender Equality Committee (GEC) and Working Group at the FISU Gender Equality webinar for FISU Student Ambassadors, alumni and others involved in university sport.  


FISU First Vice President, Leonz Eder, kicked off the webinar with powerful words about how young people need to take the lead—ensuring that topics like gender equality are addressed in the future.


“Let me first say, I am very impressed by the work of the FISU Ambassadors—you are the leaders of tomorrow,” he said. “You are the ones that will not only take over FISU and university sport, but also the politics and economics of sport as well.”


The webinar was led by Rosaura Mendez and Adam Pratchett, Chair and Vice Chair of the FISU GEC.


“Sport is a social phenomenon and is limited by different scenarios, and I would like to address the awareness of gender equality where we have already seen some developments,” said Rosaura Mendez, Chair of the FISU GEC.


“Historically, FISU has been a pioneer in the promotion of gender equality. At FISU, we have a very fertile field for this topic and have ability to continue leading the way with different actions around gender equality into society. The only way we can achieve this is if we work together as a team,” she continued.


After a brief overview of the FISU GEC history and events, Vice Chair of the FISU GEC, Adam Pratchett kicked off the panel discussions covering three major topics:


  • Why is gender equality important?

  • Current work that the FISU GEC is doing in this space.

  • How to achieve gender equality.



An emphasis was put on current activities around FISU and gender equality, including the FISU gender equality round tables, outreach and awards all to promote the advancement of gender equality in sport, along with new programmes being initiated by the FISU GEC.


One of the major points that raised by participants was the current impact that the current COVID-19 pandemic has had on the topic of FISU gender equality.


“With the pandemic, we see a different impact in different places around the world,” said Pratchett. “Projects around gender equality are sometimes seen as an add-on activity, rather than a core activity—therefore it may be the first place where funding is not continued.”


Pratchett also highlighted the importance of engagement worldwide through FISU Student Ambassadors in their respective countries to ensure that gender equality is at the core of sports organisations worldwide.


Although we are facing some challenging times with much uncertainty, one thing is for sure— young leaders like FISU Student Ambassadors have the potential to make great change in the world, starting in their countries and tackling issues like gender inequality to ensure sustainable sport for a better tomorrow.