Actively Engaged: A Policy on Sport for Women and Girls

Table of Contents

1. Policy Statement

Canadian Heritage is committed to a sport system that provides quality sport experiences, where women and girls are actively engaged and equitably supported in a full range of roles.

In doing so, women and girls should have meaningful opportunities to become involved in and develop in sport according to their interests, abilities, talents and choices, throughout a lifetime’s involvement.

2. Coming into Force

This policy is effective as of January 1, 2009, and replaces the 1986 Sport Canada Policy on Women in Sport.

3. Context

Actively Engaged: A Policy on Sport for Women and Girls, provides renewed direction for the leadership and programs of Canadian Heritage in promoting and developing a strengthened sport system where women and girls are full, active and valued participants and leaders, experiencing quality sport and equitable support.[1]

The Physical Activity and Sport Act (2003), together with the Canadian Sport Policy (2002) endorsed by all Federal-Provincial/Territorial governments, confirms the Government of Canada’s role in increasing sport participation and supporting the pursuit of excellence in sport for all Canadians, including women. This policy recognizes that the contributions of actively engaged women and girls are critical to realizing the objectives of the Canadian Sport Policy and for achieving results for Canadians.

Within this context, Canadian Heritage is charged with advancing sport.  Most of Canadian Heritage’s sport involvement is led by the Sport Canada Branch, which supports national sport organizations, high performance sport, national and international sport events, and coordinates Federal-Provincial/Territorial sport collaboration.  These efforts are supported by the International Affairs Branch, which is responsible for international sport relations.[2]

This policy will therefore guide domestic priority setting, the design and delivery of grants and contribution programs for sport, and other activities in support of the Canadian sport system.  The direction provided by this policy shall be together with other Sport Canada instruments – such as the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework, the Federal Policy on Hosting International Sport Events, the Policy on Aboriginal Peoples Participation in Sport and the Sport Canada Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability.

This policy will furthermore strengthen Canada’s international leadership in sport, including with respect to Canada’s international commitments and activities.  Canada is a strong supporter of the active engagement of women in sport within the Commonwealth, the Americas and the Francophonie. Additionally, Canada has been involved in the development of – and is signatory to – a number of conventions and declarations in support of sport for women and girls.[3]

Since 1986, the Canadian sport landscape has changed considerably, including for women and girls.  Human rights cases have clearly established the entitlement of girls and women to participate in sport, prompting improved access to sport programs. There are more competitive opportunities for women in more sports, including at the highest levels, and Canadian female athletes are both increasingly participating in sport, and regularly achieving podium success at World Championships and Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

In addition, sport organizations are no longer segregated on the basis of gender. Women are also increasingly leading national sport organizations, as senior administrative staff.

However, it is also evident that such improvements for women and girls have not been achieved to date in all aspects of sport involvement. The number of women trained as coaches and actively coaching – particularly in high performance contexts – remains persistently low.  The limited information available regarding women in other roles, notably within the governance of sport organizations or as technical leaders and officials, indicates that the experiences and skills of women are not being optimized in these domains either. Also, the rate of participation of girls as athlete participants continues to be significantly lower than that of boys. 

These gaps in the engagement of women in the sport system cannot be fully accounted for via traditional explanations of overt barriers or lack of opportunity.  Notably, the same types of challenges – such as societal attitudes or assumptions about women’s interests and skills – were cited in discussions of women’s involvement in multiple sport roles and in a range of contexts from local to international. For some women – namely those who are part of another socio-economically disadvantaged group such as Aboriginal Peoples or persons with a disability – these challenges are compounded.

In general, there are persistent concerns that women’s contributions to Canadian sport continue to be undervalued by women themselves as well as by their male counterparts.  Also, sport community consultations highlighted that the availability of women to contribute to the sport system tends to be constrained because of societal expectations on women to fulfill traditional domestic roles – including responsibility for domestic tasks to facilitate the contribution to sport by their male partners.  As such, the leadership, skills and perspectives of women are lost to the sport system at a time when, because of the ongoing identified need to build human resource capacity, the system can least afford to do without their involvement.

Other sectors of society have noted that increasing the engagement of women can lead to positive results.  A recent study[4] of Fortune 500 companies found that those with the highest percentages of women on their boards outperformed those with the lowest percentages of women.  Companies with at least three female directors outperformed the others.  A similar European study[5] reinforces these findings, noting that 30% appears to be the critical point at which the presence of women makes a positive difference.  Interviews with companies with significant gender diversity showed that these organizations have measures in place to facilitate career flexibility and work-life balance, as well as leadership support such as access to mentors, networks, coaching and training.

Sport community consultations have highlighted the potential to realize similar benefits for the Canadian sport system through increased engagement of women. Stakeholders consistently highlighted the need to “do things differently” to recruit, develop, and retain women in sport, including the potential to re-recruit women into similar or other sport roles after a hiatus, e.g. to raise a family. In contrast to the traditional “build it and they will come” approach in Canadian sport of creating opportunities and expecting uptake,[6] this policy will promote innovative quality sport experiences for women and girls, to not only remove barriers but also to encourage ongoing involvement.

In advancing the directions of this policy, Sport Canada will ensure that federal efforts to improve sport experiences for women and girls in all roles are consistent with the sport development framework described in Canadian Sport for Life and the principles of longterm athlete development.

This policy is founded on the belief that efforts to improve conditions for women and girls in sport will not only extend the benefits of sport to women and girls and facilitate their personal development, they will also improve sport experiences for all participants.  It is therefore in the interests of all sport system stakeholders, including men, women and organizations, to work towards a strengthened sport system for women and girls.

4. Policy Objective and Results

The objective of the policy is to foster sport environments – from  playground to podium – where women and girls, particularly as athlete participants, coaches, technical leaders and officials, and as governance leaders are provided with:

  • Quality sport experiences; and
  • Equitable support by sport organizations.

The implementation of the policy will therefore result in a continuously improving sport system where:

  1. Women and girls are actively engaged within Canadian sport as athlete participants, from playground to podium;
  2. Women are actively engaged within Canadian sport as coaches, technical leaders and officials and are also supported to progress within international organizations as technical leaders and officials;
  3. Women are actively engaged as governance leaders (both as key volunteers and senior administrative staff) of Canadian sport organizations and are also supported to progress within international sport organizations.

5. Application and Implementation

This policy shall apply to the sport-related activities and programs of Canadian Heritage, including those undertaken in collaboration with other governments, departments or organizations.  Given that the majority of these activities are focused on developing Canadian sport, references to ‘a sport system’ primarily refer to the Canadian sport system, with support to strengthen sport internationally.

The policy shall be implemented through the delivery of ongoing Canadian Heritage activities and programs.  Regularly updated action plans will direct efforts, including the integration of positive measures into other policies, strategies, and grants and contributions programs.

6. Policy Interventions

The implementation of the policy will include the following components:

  1. Program Improvement – alignment and refinement of programs and activities to enable sport organizations and other sport system stakeholders to deliver innovative quality sport experiences for women and girls;
  2. Strategic Leadership – proactive promotion of complementary measures within other Canadian and international jurisdictions to strengthen quality sport experiences for women and girls through participation in multilateral and bilateral instruments and fora;
  3. Awareness – promoting the benefits for individuals and organizations of meaningful involvement of women and girls; and
  4. Knowledge Development – expansion, use and sharing of knowledge, practices and innovations concerning the sport experiences of women and girls through research and development.

7. Measurement and Evaluation

Canadian Heritage will monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy, according to the Policy Accountability Framework outlined in Appendix D.  Evaluations will be conducted to assess the effectiveness of policy interventions in meeting the policy goals and to assess the effectiveness of the policy in helping the government to meet its objectives.

Monitoring findings will contribute to regular evaluation and identification of best practices.  Periodic planned reviews of this policy, occurring at least every five years, will include targeted input from stakeholders, as well as internal findings.  In monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of this policy, Canadian Heritage will be guided by Treasury Board’s Policy on Active Monitoring, Evaluation Policy and Internal Audit Policy.

Appendix A: Terms and Usage

Athlete participants are individuals who are active in the practice of organized sport.  Athlete participants include individuals who are beginning to learn sport skills through to high performance competitors.

Canadian Sport for Life is the generic long-term athlete development (LTAD) model which identifies requirements for athlete participants at various stages of their sport development, including coaching, training, equipment and competition needs.  It describes this development in the context of a lifetime’s involvement in sport, from learning fundamental skills to peak performance.  Where this policy refers to roles – particularly those of athlete participants and coaches – this includes fulfilling these roles throughout the LTAD stages.

Coaches are trained individuals who provide instruction to, and develop, athlete participants in the practice of sport.  Coaches work in a variety of environments and contexts, as paid professional staff or volunteers, from community clubs to international high performance roles.

Complementary measures are activities or initiatives undertaken by other parties which promote system integration and reinforce or support Canadian Heritage’s policy on sport for women and girls.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is responsible for national policies and programs that promote Canadian content, foster cultural participation, active citizenship and participation in Canada’s civic life, and strengthen connections among Canadians.  Within this mandate, Sport Canada works to strengthen the unique contribution that sport makes to Canadian identity, culture and society by enhancing opportunities for Canadians to participate and excel in sport.  The International Affairs Branch complements these objectives through enhancing Canadian influence in the international sport milieu.  Within this branch, the International Sport Directorate engages in the global sport policy environment, gathering and promoting best practices in areas such as anti-doping, the participation of women and girls in sport, sport for persons with a disability, and sport for development and peace, while the International Relations Directorate is responsible for the organization and coordination of activities related to the participation of Team Canada at the Jeux de la Francophonie and is Canada’s representative at the International Committee of the Jeux de la Francophonie.  The 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Games Federal Secretariat, also within Canadian Heritage, is responsible for leadership and coordination of activities related to the 2010 Winter Games on behalf of the Government of Canada.  The Secretariat is expected to wrap-up its activities in 2010-11.

Engagement is where there is a robust commitment by all parties involved in an undertaking for sport involvement.  Active engagement is where individuals or organizations are recruited and meaningfully involved in a given activity i.e., in the context of athlete participation, coaching, officiating or governance.

Equality is the state of being the same.  Equality may be demonstrated in terms of a practice or an outcome.  In terms of women’s involvement in sport, programs and services provided to men are often seen as the norm; thus equal support provided to women is typically the same as the support provided to men.

Equity means to provide fair or just treatment.  Equity takes into account the realities of an individual’s or group’s current situation in determining what would be fair or just.  Equitable support may be substantively different from equal support, and may include – at times – additional support in order to achieve the desired outcome.

Governance leaders are individuals who are involved in major decision-making for their organization, as volunteers or senior administrative staff.  Examples of governance roles include members of boards of directors or key committees, and Chief Executive Officers or Directors General.

Meaningful opportunities are where individuals are provided with true options for sport involvement, including chances for further development free from limitations based on assumptions or stereotypes based on sex or gender.  The concept of meaningful opportunity extends beyond the removal of barriers.

Quality sport experiences are where individuals are participating in the practice, delivery or organization of technically sound and ethical sport, in keeping with the principles of long term athlete development.  Quality sport experiences are a key consideration for multiple sport system roles, including for athlete participants, coaches, technical leaders and officials or in governance roles.

The Sport Funding and Accountability Framework (SFAF) is an instrument developed and used by Sport Canada to determine what sport organizations are to be funded, to what degree, and under what circumstances. 

Technical leaders are individuals who are involved in technical decision making for their sport and who direct quality programming.  Examples of technical leaders include such roles as chief technical officer or national team director.  In some cases there may be an overlap between technical leadership and senior coaching roles.

Technical officials are individuals who ensure technically sound sport on the field of play, such as referees, judges or umpires.

Appendix B: Overview of Factors and Issues Related to Sport for Women and Girls

I. Canadian Sport for Women and Girls

Women and girls are involved in Canadian sport in a variety of roles.  The number of women and girls in the sport system, as measured by membership in National Sport Organizations (NSOs), has been steadily increasing since 1995, when Sport Canada began systematically tracking this data through the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework (SFAF).[7],[8] In 1995, women made up 25% of 2.3M total reported members; by 2004 this figure had risen to 35% of 5.2M.

Structure of Canadian Sport

At the time of the 1986 Sport Canada Policy on Women in Sport, the sport system was in the midst of some significant challenges related to the participation of women and girls in sport.  There continued to be separate sport organizations governing women’s and men’s disciplines, typically with uneven access to resources.  There were also at this time a number of court challenges which confirmed the right of access for girls and women to sport.

As a result of the 1986 policy, Sport Canada no longer funds sport organizations which are segregated by sex.  Funded organizations must state their commitment to women in sport to be eligible for funding. 

Women and Girls as Athlete Participants

Canadian women and girls are increasingly participating in sport as athlete participants, although not to the same degree as their male counterparts.  According to the data collected for the SFAF 3 (2003 data), 32% of all athlete competitors registered with NSOs were female, while 41% of all recreational members were female.  Based on the data collected as of July 2008 for the SFAF 4 (2007 data; for most summer sports, not including disciplines for athletes with a disability), the proportion of females as athlete participants is showing an upward tendency at 39%, whereas the proportion of female recreational members has decreased to 38%.

Canadian women also perform well in international competition.  Of the athletes in Olympic sports receiving grants from the Athlete Assistance Program, 49% are female (as of July 2008).  Moreover:

  • Over 50% of Canada’s Olympic athletes at the Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), and Athens (2004) Olympic Games were female. 
  • In the last three Winter Olympics, women have won most of Canada’s medals.  At the Turin games, women won 16 of 24 medals, or 2/3 of Canada’s total.
  • In Paralympic summer sport, women are winning more of Canada’s medals, despite smaller numbers.  In Sydney (2000), women accounted for 38% of the team and won 46% of the medals; in Athens (2004), women accounted for 47% of the team and won 62% of Canada’s medals.

There are persistent concerns that women and girls are continuing to participate in sport at a lower rate than their male counterparts. In addition to the discrepancies in participation rates evident from the SFAF, Statistics Canada’s study of Sport Participation in Canada, 2005 indicates that 52% of females aged 15 to 18 participate in sport, compared to 66% of males in the same age group.  The gap becomes even more apparent in the 19 to 24 age range, where 52% of males participate in sport compared to 34% of females.

Women as Coaches, Technical Leaders and Officials

According to the data reported in the SFAF 3, women comprise 22% of all coaches in Canadian sport, and 28% of technical officials (excluding technical directors or other program staff). Preliminary data from the SFAF 4 shows similar participation levels in 2008, with women comprising 25% of reported coaches and 29% of reported technical officials.

The participation of women in coaching roles has been an area of ongoing focus for the Coaching Association of Canada.  Information from the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) database shows that while 30% of coaches certified at levels 1-3 of the NCCP are female, this proportion drops to 19% of coaches certified at levels 4 and 5.[9]

The results of the Women in Sport Leadership Surveys[10] from 1988 and 1991, while measuring the representation of women in different technical roles, suggest that the engagement of women in technical roles has remained relatively constant over time.  During this time, women comprised one quarter of technical directors of funded national sport organizations, and between 13% and 16% of head coaches.

Women in Governance

Of the organizations receiving funding from Sport Canada in 2007-08, 37% are headed by women as senior administrative staff.  This represents an increase from 1988, when 29% of Chief Executive Officers (or similar head staff positions) were women, and from 1981 when women comprised only 16% of individuals in this role.

In contrast, only 19% of organizations receiving funding from Sport Canada have a volunteer governance structure led by a woman as president or chair of the board of directors.  Directly comparable data is not available from the Women in Sport Leadership Surveys; however, the 1988 survey showed that approximately one quarter of board and executive committee members of national sport organizations were women.  The 1981 and 1991 surveys showed that the proportion of women in these roles varied between 13% and 30%.

As part of the SFAF, Sport Canada encourages organizations to build in provisions for women in governance through the accountability stage.  A similar approach has been undertaken in the United Kingdom, for example, through its Equality Standard.

II.  Canada’s International Involvement in Sport for Women and Girls

Canada has a long history of active leadership in the international promotion of sport for women and girls, as athlete participants, coaches, technical leaders, officials and governance leaders.  This leadership has been demonstrated both by the Government of Canada and by Canadian sport community leaders, championed by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

Within the United Nations (UN), Canada has supported the inclusion of references to females and sport within international human rights conventions.[11] Canada has also backed ongoing efforts within the UN to strengthen sport for women, including the endorsement of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s  (UNESCO) Observatory on Women, Sport and Physical Education, and the UN Division for the Advancement of Women’s new resource document entitled Women 2000 and beyond: Women, gender equality and sport.

Also, Canada works in collaboration with other governments to advance sport for women and girls.  This commitment includes endorsement of the 2004 Athens Declaration signed at the International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MiNEPS), and the 2006 Brazil Declaration of the Sport Council of the Americas (CADE).  Canada demonstrates significant leadership within the Francophonie, supporting the CONFEJES[12] working group on the participation of women and girls in youth and sport activities, which has been mandated by CONFEJES Ministers to increase the participation of girls and women within the activities of the CONFEJES.  Through its involvement in the Jeux de la Francophonie, Canada has been instrumental in establishing a commitment for a gender balanced sport program, and to ensure promotion of participation of women and girls in the games as athletes, coaches and organizers. Along with other governments world-wide, Canada also participated in the broad-based multi-lateral International Working Group on Sport for Development and Peace to produce the resource Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace: Recommendations to Governments, which has a chapter dedicated to “Sport and Gender: Empowering Women and Girls.”

Furthermore, both the Government of Canada and CAAWS have been long-time supporters of the International Working Group for Women in Sport, signing the Brighton Declaration, co-chairing the group for several years, and hosting the secretariat for four years culminating in the organization of the Montreal Conference in 2002. 

Finally, Canadians have been influential within many international sport organizations to promote the involvement of sport for women and girls.  This includes concerted efforts to encourage the inclusion of female events within world championship and games programs, and to demonstrate the value of women’s contributions to governance.  These international activities have reinforced domestic activities and created more opportunities for Canadian women and girls to demonstrate their skills, talents and abilities; likewise, the tools and initiatives developed nationally – such as CAAWS’ women and leadership workshops – have been used and are recognized internationally.

III. Thematic Findings

During consultations, there were several common themes which arose across a variety of contexts in discussion of women in sport issues.  Notably:

Societal expectations, professionalization and working conditions.  Because of persistent social pressures on women to assume domestic duties, there are built-in disadvantages to women’s continued involvement in sport, particularly past a certain age or once they become part of a new family unit.  These responsibilities leave less time for participation in sport in all roles.  While some organizations have initiatives to offset domestic costs (e.g. childcare at competitions), there are few systematic measures in place to offset these needs and facilitate the ongoing involvement of women in sport.

As men become more actively involved in the family unit, domestic and family issues are becoming of greater concern to male participants in sport.  For example, male coaches have been instrumental in getting Norwegian sport organizations to implement shared coaching positions for world cup travel teams, because they did not want to be away from their young families for such long periods of time.  However, it continues to be more common that women facilitate the sport involvement of men by taking responsibilities for domestic and child rearing than vice versa.

The professionalization of sport has placed higher demands on volunteers and paid personnel in sport alike.  Athletes, coaches, officials and governance leaders are expected to be increasingly sophisticated in their approaches to sport, and to be informed about and able to manage a wide range of demands.  While this shift towards professionalization may in the long run produce working conditions which enable individuals to dedicate themselves more effectively to sport, these are not yet in place.  Improvements in working conditions (ranging from job-sharing for coaches to family support policies for board members and other volunteers) would clearly benefit all sport system participants, and would have a significant facilitative impact for women.

Attitudes and volunteering. A particular challenge to the participation of women in all aspects of sport has to do with attitudes regarding sport involvement and appropriate roles for women.  Discussion session participants often cited prevalent perceptions that men tend to have a stronger sense of their abilities, whereas women tend to need to be encouraged to become and stay involved, regardless of their comparative abilities and skills.  Furthermore, there seems to be a prevalent sense that men are assumed to be inherently better able to fulfill leadership or technical roles, such as high performance coaching or officiating, based on their gender.

The sport sector is highly dependent on volunteers.  Eleven percent of all Canadian volunteers work with sport and recreation organizations; their contributions constitute 18% of all volunteer hours.[13] It may also be worth noting that rates of volunteerism decline with age, and that overall, Canadian women volunteer at a slightly higher rate (47%) than men (44%).

Concerns were raised in the discussion sessions that the next generations of volunteers will need different systems of recognition and support in order to retain their services.  It was further surmised that adaptations to volunteer recruitment and retention would not only help to engage more women in sport, but would also attract new young volunteers.

“On-ramps and off-ramps”.  It is a common observation that career paths are increasingly non-linear – where an individual should anticipate approximately seven careers in a lifetime – and that women’s experiences tend to be particularly so.  Analysis of trends within the North American private sector point to 37% of highly qualified women (versus 24% of men) leaving work voluntarily during their careers, with higher incidences among women with child or elder care responsibilities.[14] The challenge for organizations becomes how to keep track of and facilitate the return to work for these women so that their skills and assets do not become lost to society or the economy.  This concept of creating more “on-ramps” in sport was frequently cited as a needed strategy to build and maintain sport system capacity, and in particular to ensure that women have opportunities for a lifetime’s involvement in sport.

Governance and succession planning. Sound governance practices were often cited during sport community discussions as being greatly facilitative for the participation of women in governance roles.  Organizations with representative structures – for example, where boards of directors are composed of member organizations’ presidents – are less able to influence the composition of individuals at decision-making tables (although creative solutions have been advanced by some organizations).  It was recognized that moving towards a policy board model of governance can bring a number of benefits to an organization, as well as enabling the meaningful engagement of women.  Succession planning was also referred to as a general good practice that could help to develop and retain women in governance, coaching and other technical roles.

Appendix C: Sport Community Consultations

Iterative consultations were held in the development of this policy, held in three phases. There were:

Issue Identification:

  1. Members from a broad cross-section of the sport community were invited to one of four discussion sessions to share experiences regarding the participation of women in sport and identify current issues. 

Issue Analysis:

  1. Eight women in sport leaders participated in a round-table discussion with the Secretary of State (Sport) to discuss and analyze identified issues. 
  2. Input was invited from provincial/territorial governments regarding the relevance of identified national issues to experiences in respective jurisdictions and to garner feedback on a possible leadership role for Sport Canada in advancing sport for girls.
  3. Five international interviews were conducted with leading international women in sport experts from the United Kingdom (2), Norway, Australia and New Zealand.

Validation and Policy Refinement:

  1. Ten sport leaders participated in a round-table discussion with the Secretary of State (Sport) to validate approved policy directions and consider aspects of implementation.
  2. Members of the sport community (all national funded sport organizations) were invited to participate in two discussion sessions to validate and discuss proposed policy components.
  3. Sport Canada brought together seven sport leaders to form an Advisory Group.  This group reviewed information and provided advice to Sport Canada on the development and refinement of the policy.

Appendix D: Overview of the Policy Accountability Framework

The Policy Accountability Framework for Actively Engaged: A Policy on Sport for Women and Girls reflects expected results that Canadian Heritage is working to achieve.  It also provides the basis for how Canadian Heritage will monitor and evaluate its performance.  As such, the framework provides the blueprint for the planning, measuring, evaluating and reporting on results through the life-cycle of the policy. 

The logic model for the policy is presented below, in a flow-chart or “classic” style model.  It has three main parts: policy interventions, outputs and outcomes.  The logic of the model is depicted by arrows flowing between activities and from policy interventions to outputs and outputs to outcomes.  There are three levels of outcomes: immediate, intermediate and ultimate.  The policy interventions are operationalized as outputs; these outputs are expected to contribute in the short term to the immediate outcomes.  In turn, the immediate outcomes are expected to contribute to the intermediate outcomes, which create conditions favourable to the achievement of the ultimate outcome in the long-term.  Measurable indicators associated with each of the outputs and outcomes will be used in evaluating progress associated with the policy.

Policy Accountability Framework: Logic Model

Program Improvement

Policy Interventions
Alignment and refinement of sport programs.
Outputs
Program implementation tools and processes reflect sport priorities for women and girls.
Immediate Outcomes
Funding recipients provide inclusive sport programs and services for women and girls.
Intermediate Outcomes
Quality sport experiences for women and girls.
Ultimate Outcome
A sport system where women and girls are actively engaged and developing as athlete participants, coaches, technical leaders and officials, and as governance leaders.

Strategic Leadership

Policy Interventions
Use of bilateral and multilateral fora to promote gender equity in sport domestically and internationally.
Outputs
Commitments to advance initiatives for women and girls in sport.
Immediate Outcomes
Mutually supportive programs and initiatives.
Intermediate Outcomes
Quality sport experiences for women and girls.
Ultimate Outcome
A sport system where women and girls are actively engaged and developing as athlete participants, coaches, technical leaders and officials, and as governance leaders.

Awareness Building

Policy Interventions
Promotion of benefits of greater engagement of women and girls to the sport community and to Canadians.
Outputs
Initiatives developed for information sharing and promotion.
Immediate Outcomes
Canadians, including sport system stakeholders, value sport initiatives for women and girls.
Intermediate Outcomes
Equitable sport support for women and girls.
Ultimate Outcome
A sport system where women and girls are actively engaged and developing as athlete participants, coaches, technical leaders and officials, and as governance leaders.

Knowledge Development

Policy Interventions
Expansion of policy research activities concerning sport participation of women and girls.
Outputs
Policy research supported and shared on women and girls in sport.
Immediate Outcomes
Informed decision making regarding sport initiatives for women and girls.
Intermediate Outcomes
Equitable sport support for women and girls.
Ultimate Outcome
A sport system where women and girls are actively engaged and developing as athlete participants, coaches, technical leaders and officials, and as governance leaders.

Notes:

  • [1] For explanations of terms see Appendix A.
  • [2] Further explanation of the roles of each group within Canadian Heritage is included in Appendix A.
  • [3] A brief synopsis of the state of women in sport is provided in this section.  For more information, including regarding international conventions, please see Appendix B.
  • [4] Joy, L., N.M. Carter, H.M. Wagner and S. Narayanan (2007).  The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards.  Catalyst Inc.
  • [5] Desvaux, G., S. Devillard-Hoellinger and P. Baumgarten (2007).  Women Matter: Gender diversity, a corporate performance driver.  Paris: McKinsey and Company.
  • [6] See Donnelly, P. & Y. Nakamura (2006). Sport and Multiculturalism: a dialogue.  Paper produced for Canadian Heritage.
  • [7] Implementation of the 1986 Policy did not result in the identification and tracking of baseline data.  As such, it is not possible to provide an accurate, continuous picture of trends in women in sport over the past two decades.  Various instruments, some of which are ongoing, provide some insight the state of sport for women and girls.
  • [8] Various data sets are collected for the SFAF, including information on the membership, and the numbers of athletes, coaches and officials affiliated with a NSO.  The SFAF evolves for each funding cycle and is numbered accordingly.
  • [9] See www.coach.ca. Statistics collected in August 2008.
  • [10] The Women in Sport Leadership Surveys were conducted by Sport Canada to provide a snapshot of certain measures related to women in sport in 1981, 1988 and 1991.  Each survey varied slightly in questions asked and scope of application.  Comparative data is used to the degree available.
    Sport Canada (1982).  Women in Sport Leadership: Summary of a National Survey.  Fitness & Amateur Sport.
    Sport Canada (1989). Women in Sport Leadership: An issue for sportSport Canada Women’s Program.
    Sport Canada (1992).  Women in Sport Leadership and Gender Equity Survey for 1991Sport Canada Women’s Program.
  • [11] Canada is a signatory to the following three core United Nations human rights conventions which reference females and sport: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1979; the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (ICRPD), 2006.
  • [12] The CONFEJES is the Conference of Sport, and Youth Ministers of states and governments within the Francophonie.
  • [13] Statistics Canada (2006). Caring Canadians, Involved Canadians.  Catalogue no. 71-542-XIE
  • [14] Hewlett, Sylvia Ann (2007) Off-ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success.  McGraw-Hill.

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