October 10, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAWS) celebrates the release of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s report: Women and Girls in Sport. The report is a historic contribution to the ongoing discourse on closing the gender gap in Canadian sport.
The report is the culmination of a study by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage of involvement by Canadian women and girls in sport and includes recommendations to the Department of Canadian Heritage for increasing participation and leadership in sport. It has been 19 years since a similar a similar study and report were undertaken.
“This report is timely and welcomed for the clear statement it makes about the importance of this topic to Canadians and for the recommendations for action,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CAAWS CEO. “As the leading authority on women and sport in Canada, CAAWS is committed to working in partnership with Sport Canada and throughout the sport system to advance these recommendations.”
CAAWS participated in the study, emphasizing the need for three key things to produce real change: better data for decision-making; stronger accountability within the system to achieve measurable change; support for sports to meet rising expectations for gender equity and inclusion. These priorities were proposed in the context of a persistent gender gap that exists in all areas of participation and leadership, including statistics that show that progress has stalled.
“We commend The Honourable Hedy Fry, Chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, for her leadership of the Committee and its study of women and sport,” commented Sandip Lalli. “We are hopeful that the Committee’s report will serve to reinforce and springboard Sport Canada’s commitment to addressing this issue, resulting in a stronger, more inclusive Canadian sport system.”
The report was tabled in the House of Commons on September 27, 2017. The Department of Canadian Heritage, under which Sport Canada resides, has 120 days from the tabling of the report to provide its official response.
The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders. CAAWS provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, athletes, volunteers, health professionals and recreation leaders. Since 1981, CAAWS has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity.