On Monday, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) acknowledged the issue of gender equality in sports governance. A proposal to ensure that one out of three National Sports Federation (NSF) is a woman who was asked to the executive council.
Rajeev Mehta reacted to the action of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He wrote, “As proposed in my letter dated 15th July 2019, I request members of the Executive Council of the IOA to initiate a discussion on the proposal of setting a norm that one among the three representatives of the NSF to the General Assembly of the IOA is a woman,” Mehta wrote in his letter.
“I believe once such a change is initiated by us, more National Sports Federations would also change their governance structures as suitable to give more representation to women, in accordance with the norms,” Mehta added.
During the survey on gender representation by IOC, IOA submitted that “we shall undertake a detailed study next year to review the participation and representation of women across different aspects of sports. Data is required for assessment, creating a pathway, and bridging the gap.”
Some National Sports Federation (NSF) have made some progress but to meet the global standards more needs to be done.
“Under-representation of women has been a major concern in Indian sports administration. During my first term as secretary general, we had addressed the National Sports Federations and State Olympic Associations on this matter vide letter dated 29th August 2017. Target has moved from the earlier benchmark of 20 per cent in 2005 to full gender equality/ balance in recent years,” Mehta said.
Mehta also added that some of the sports federations like Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association, Handball Federation of India, Hockey India, Fencing Association of India, National Rifle Association of India and Table Tennis Federation of India are making remarkable progress in attaining Gender Equality.
“…we observed that many National Sports Federations including Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association, Handball Federation of India, Hockey India, Fencing Association of India, National Rifle Association of India and Table Tennis Federation of India made considerable progress in attaining gender equality in sports governance. (But) as a nation, we are still far behind in comparison with global standards,” Mehta added.