The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has announced an inquiry on Women and Sport, following calls for this from Barbara and Harriet Harman MP.
The Committee is to investigate what barriers there are to women’s participation in sport and how to overcome these. They will look at issues such as the availability of facilities for training and playing sport, for both girls and women, at both elite and grassroots levels; sponsorship and prize money; media coverage; the reasons why participation in sport by women decreases and the variety of sports on offer to girls at school.
The success of female athletes at the 2012 Olympics brought women’s sport into the spotlight more often but, one year on, sportswomen are still missing out when compared with men.
Even though 36% of GB medals won at the Olympics and 47% at the Paralympics were won by women, women’s sport only receives 0.5% of total sports sponsorship in the UK. Also, only 4% of sports coverage in national and local newspapers is dedicated to women’s sport and there is a major gap in prize money and sponsorship between sportsmen and sportswomen.
Barbara, who is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Sport, said:
“We have called a number of times for the Select Committee to hold an inquiry into women’s sport so we do welcome this announcement. The London Olympic and Paralympic Games were incredibly good for coverage and for recognition of the success of our sportswomen, but one year on there are still many issues in women's sport that need addressing.
This Inquiry will help to shine a light on what can be done to increase grassroots participation in sport by girls and women and how the coverage of women's sport in the media can be increased.”