International Women’s Sport Day Date in the current year: January 24, 2024

International Women’s Sport Day International Women’s Sport Day (Journée internationale du sport féminin) is an international observance created in 2014. It was launched to raise awareness of a lack of women’s sports coverage and under-representation of women in sports leadership.

Even though women have participated in sports since ancient times (for example, a separate women’s athletic event called the Heraean Games was held before each Olympic Games in ancient Greece), women’s sports activities tended to be recreational and informal, emphasizing physical activity rather than the competitive aspect of sports, until the late 19th century.

Today, participation of women in amateur and professional sports varies greatly by country and by sport, but even in well-developed countries, men’s participation in sports is significantly higher, with the exception of a few female-dominated sports. Women’s sports receive significantly less media coverage, funding, and sponsorship than men’s sports, which greatly impacts their visibility and marketability.

Despite increased participation opportunities, women are still under-represented in sports leadership at all levels and do not have the same access as men to the decision-making process. According to a 2023 survey carried out by the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA), women hold only 26.9% of executive positions in international sports federations. Even though this number used to be lower (17.8% in 2021), it is still enough, and there is a long way to go.

International Women’s Sport Day was launched in France by the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA, “Superior Audiovisual Council”) in collaboration with the French National Olympic and Sports Committee. Through this observance, the CSA wanted to address the under-representation of women’s sports in the media and raise the profile of women’s sports.

Among the ambassadors of the inaugural International Women’s Sport Day were Laura Flessel-Colovic, a French sports manager and retired épée fencer who would serve as Minister of Sports in 2017-2018, and Nelson Monfort, a French sports journalist and television host. The partners of the event included the Minister of Sports, the Minister of Women’s Rights, the French Paralympic and Sports Committee, and Femix’Sports, an organization that works for better representation of women in the sports and Olympic movement.

The four main objectives of International Women’s Sport Day are to develop women’s participation in sports, increase the presence of women in sports leadership, boost the economics of women’s sports, and improve the media coverage of women’s sports. The holiday also aims to acknowledge and celebrates the achievements of female athletes, coaches, and sports managers.

International Women’s Sport Day events are held by various organizations around the globe. They encourage girls to take up sports and women to pursue careers in sports management, provide female athletes with the support and resources they need to combat gender discrimination, and help push toward fair treatment and inclusiveness in the sports industry.

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International Women’s Sport Day, international observances, gender inequality in sports, media representation of women’s sport