Taking place every four years and involving athletes from across the Commonwealth of Nations, this year the event is being hosted in Birmingham and will be “showcasing more female and para-athletes than ever before” (Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022).
This is a particularly important and shining example of progress. However, as Sheila Robertson, author of the Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching, put it “At the higher levels of international sport, much has been written (and some lip service paid) about the importance of gender equality. But words without action are worthless, and sport remains far from a level playing field for millions of girls and women around the world.”
The world of sport has traditionally been dominated by men, both in terms of participation and governance. Even in a ‘developed’ nation like England, still more men do sport and physical activity than women in almost every age group.
Yet the benefits of sport played at both an individual and team level are clear. Aside from speaking about the health benefits, sport is a cultural expression that can have a significant impact on removing the divisive lines of inequality and accelerating global progress towards gender equity, which is essential if we are to end extreme poverty.