Sexism sports law | Will the new sports law put an end to sexist kits?

The gender inequality and the sexism span the sport from junior tournaments to elite competitions. The future sports law aims to combat the discrimination suffered by women with numerous measures for the conciliation or protection of maternity, the fight against sexist violence or the wage gap.

From the most visible, such as the kits, to what is still hidden, for example sexual harassment. The rule, drawn up by the Government and now in Congress, aims to provide a legislative response to the unstoppable growth of the role of women in sport and correct the obstacles that prevent equality with policies that prevent, identify and punish the reduction of rights and situations that imply situations of discrimination.

Deputies and deputies have taken the task seriously and have improved the project created by the Executive. Among his contributions, the rejection of the kits and clothing that reproduces sexist stereotypes. Why are they in bikinis and men in shirts and pants when playing beach volleyball?

The report of the presentation of the law – the text agreed upon before going to the Plenary for final approval – addresses this issue, although it falls short. The reason is that sexist clothing is not prohibited, it is not an obligation legalbut instead opts for the formula of urging the competent public administrations to ensure that the kits do not perpetuate or reproduce these stereotypes.

In the field of equality, history shows, the recommendations remain at the mercy of good will. We cannot lose sight of the fact that there are those who still consider that the body of athletes is part of the sports spectacle, objectification and sexualization are not a thing of the past.

Where the text of the law leaves no room for doubt is in the pregnancy or maternity discrimination. The rule will declare null and void the contract clauses that allow or favor unilateral termination when an athlete becomes pregnant or gives birth.

In the same sense, it will end with the “legal helplessness of pregnant women athletes due to the loss of aid and subsidies under the pretext of not having competed“, with the “reduction of their rights as members of sports entities” and with the loss of the right to vote in the general assemblies of the sports federations.

violence in sport

Their honors have also agreed in the parliamentary process of the law that prohibits the display banners, flags and other symbols with messages that incite violence or insult, threaten or harass a person because of their sex. The sports law will in turn modify the law against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sports so that the State Commission against Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Sports is directly involved in the fight against discrimination.

To this end, you will have to prevent discriminatory conduct based on sex in official sports competitions, take action to combat this violence and discrimination and supervise compliance with the good club awareness practicessports groups and federations in respect of effective equality between women and men and sexual orientation.”

Until now, machismo and sexism were not explicitly mentioned in the aforementioned norm against violence, something that is going to change. When the sports law is approved, it will be possible to punish the incitement, encouragement or incitement of behavior of violence against women.

Sexist violence also manifests itself in the form of harassment in the sport itself, as unfortunately recently evidenced by the systematic abuse in women’s soccer in the United States. In Spain, the law will oblige sports federations and professional leagues to have a prevention and action protocol for situations of discrimination, abuse or sexual harassment and harassment based on sex or authority. Any situation of this type will have to be brought to the attention of the Higher Sports Council, a body with sanctioning capacity.

The CSD will also be in charge of facilitating comprehensive training against sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination for the personnel in charge of managing sports facilities, so that they know how to act without re-victimizing potential victims and guarantee the protection of all people using the facilities.

Visibility of women’s sport

If what is not named does not exist, in this era of audiovisual primacy what is not seen on a screen hides in non-existence. That is why it is so important that the media broadcast sports competitions in the same terms for the male and female categories. The law does not oblige in this sense, but it states that equality in the visibility of sporting events will be promoted. Of course, it goes a little further with the public media, whom it commits to programming “at comparable hearing timesif so permitted by the organization of the competitions in question, the live or deferred broadcast of comparable sporting events, if it is a comparable competition, be it a league, tournament or similar, for men and women”. The media will have to ensure that the representation of athletes is free of sexual objectification and sexist stereotypes.

The future sports law also focuses on the unequal economic conditions suffered by professionals and establishes that sports prizes organized or financed by public administrations must be equal, and guarantees that the bonus system of the national teams is articulated with the same criteria for men and women.

In Congress, it has been agreed that both the federations and the professional leagues have to guarantee equal treatment between the sexes in sports events and competitions and, in this sense, ensure “equality in economic, labor, physical preparation and assistance conditions. medicine and remuneration and prizes between female and male athletes and teams of the same sports specialty”.

Equality and Reconciliation Commissions

Measures have been included to protect the conciliation and co-responsibility. Professional federations and leagues must develop specific plans to shield maternity and breastfeeding. The federations will also have to implement equality commissions to manage incidents of discrimination based on sex and to guide athletes and staff in the prevention and detection of these situations.

To reduce the gender gap in sport, the public authorities will plan and size the school spaces available for physical activity in such a way that they adapt to the needs of the child and adolescent population, ensuring that they are places safe and accessible for girls and adolescents.

Also aimed at girls and adolescents, it is the measure that requires promoting diversity in the offer of sports activities aimed at minors, in order to reduce the existing gender gap in the performance of physical activities from an early age.


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