Category Archives: Gender

Winter Olympics: Beijing 2022 will have lowest-ever gender gap

The Beijing Winter Olympics will be the most gender-equal Games ever, data experts say.

Gracenote says the proportion of events in which women can compete will increase for the 11th successive Games – with 52.75% of events for men and 47.25% for women.

Women will have nearly four times as many events to participate in as they did in 1980.

The Games take place from 4-20 February.

The first Games in Chamonix, France in 1924 had only two events which women could participate – the figure skating mixed pairs competition and the ladies’ singles – but 14 events for men, and had a gender gap of 81.3%.

That gap has now declined to 5.5% for Beijing, with 12 of the 15 sports now gender-equal. Nordic combined is the only remaining sport with no female participation.

Joséphine Baker to be first black woman to enter France’s Panthéon

American-born French performer Joséphine Baker will be entered into Paris’ Panthéon mausoleum, making her the first black woman to receive the honour.

The government says Baker will be inducted into the monument in November.

The Panthéon is a burial place for celebrated French icons such as scientist Marie Curie and writer Victor Hugo.

Baker will be just the sixth woman to join some 80 national heroes.

Born in St Louis, Missouri in 1906, Baker rose to international stardom in the 1930s after moving to France to pursue a career in showbusiness.

She was also a resistance fighter for her adopted country France during World War Two, and had a role in the civil rights movement in the US. More

The Magic Circle appoints its youngest, and first female, president

Times have changed in the magic industry. Tricks aren’t just about sawing people in half these days – they also teach people about climate change.

It’s different at the top too – a 28-year-old woman has been elected president of The Magic Circle.

It’s the first time a woman has held the title in its 116 year history.

Megan Swann is now the president of the organisation, founded in 1905, for British magicians.

She’s also its youngest. More

Sara Cox to become first woman to referee Premiership game

Sara Cox is set to make history on Saturday as the first woman to referee a Premiership game.

Cox will take charge of Harlequins’ home opener against Worcester Warriors.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) made Cox the world’s first female professional rugby referee in March 2016.

Last year, she became the first female assistant referee in English rugby’s top flight and was the first woman to take charge of an English top-tier game in the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2018.

“Huge congratulations to Sara Cox,” Premiership Rugby tweeted.

“She’ll become the first woman to referee a #GallagherPrem league game on Saturday. Continually making history.”

Women’s Institute magazine features first trans woman cover star

The Women’s Institute is featuring a trans woman member on the cover of its magazine for the first time.

Petra Wenham, a member of Cake and Revolution WI in Suffolk, appears on the July/August issue of WI Life, the organisation’s membership magazine.

She said she felt “accepted and honoured” to be on a platform to raise awareness of transgender issues.

Cake and Revolution said Ms Wenham “deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated”. More

First woman appointed Scotland’s Astronomer Royal

An astrophysicist from Edinburgh University is the first woman to be named Astronomer Royal for Scotland.

Prof Catherine Heymans was recommended to the Queen for the role by an international panel, convened by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Prof Heymans said she wanted to use the almost 200-year-old title to encourage people to develop passion for science.

She also wants to promote Scotland internationally as a world-leading centre for science, she said. More

London Grammar: ‘Men aren’t told what to wear, so why was I?’

“Men that I didn’t know would watch a performance and then come up to me afterwards and say they didn’t like what I was wearing – maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine that happening to, say, Chris Martin.”

London Grammar’s frontwoman Hannah Reid has dozens of stories about times sexism has made it harder for her to do her job.

And, she says, if Coldplay’s frontman doesn’t have to deal with it, then why should she?

“Maybe Chris will see this and say stuff like that happens to him all the time, but I doubt it”, she smiles.

The band have just released their third album, California Soil, and Hannah’s experiences of a “sexist” music industry crop up more than a few times in its lyrics. More

How Vanuatu is using traditional island cricket to change and save women’s lives

Rachel Andrew is one of the leading cricketers in an island nation famous for its stunning beaches. She has scored more runs for the women’s national team than anyone else and averages an impressive 11.50 with the ball.

Cricket is her passion, as it is for many women in Vanuatu – an archipelago across the Coral Sea from Australia, whose population of 307,000 is roughly the same as Nottingham. Its women’s T20 team ranks 28th in the world, making it probably the country’s most successful sporting side.

Despite that, traditional values have created barriers that have prevented many of Vanuatu’s ‘mamas’ from playing sport – but the Vanuatu Cricket Association (VCA) is trying to change that.

“I heard some people saying ‘mamas, they belong in the kitchen, clean the house, looking after the kids’, but no – it’s wrong,” said Andrew.

“We’ve got to help each other and promote gender equality. Let them know they have the right to enjoy themselves out there in sports or any activities.” More

Unlocked: 35 female sports stars join charity programme to increase diversity in sport

Thirty-five leading sportswomen have joined a charity programme to tackle the lack of diversity across sport.

Footballers Nikita Parris and Caroline Weir and five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockcroft are among those who have joined ‘Unlocked’, which has been set up by the Women’s Sport Trust.

The athletes share experiences and work with industry experts to help tackle issues relating to women in sport.

In total, 27 different sports are represented by the group.

“It has been a challenging year for many but as we come out of Covid-19 there is no better time to turbo-charge our effort and continue to unlock the value of women’s sport,” said Tammy Parlour, co-founder of the Women’s Sport Trust.

“We believe the best way to do this is by supporting these elite women and connecting them together.

“Individually they are strong advocates for change but together they are unstoppable.” More