Category Archives: Gender

UK Sport plans to double female coaches by Paris 2024 Olympics

A “long overdue” project has been launched by UK Sport to improve gender diversity across elite sport.

It aims to more than double the number of high-performance female coaches by the Paris Olympics in 2024.

As it stands, 10% of coaching positions across UK Sport-funded British Olympic and Paralympic programmes are held by women.

The government agency aims to increase that to 25% within four years as part of a new leadership programme.

Paula Dunn (Para-athletics) and Mel Marshall (swimming) will be among a group of leading coaches who will guide other women as part of the scheme. More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month

20 November is Transgender Day of Remembrance and with that in mind we have chosen Annie Wallace as our Diversity Champion of the Month.

Annie is an actor from Aberdeen. A former National Youth Theatre member, she graduated from the Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre in 2004 and has appeared in many theatre productions. As well as being a performer, Annie writes and records music and is a skilled sound recordist and designer.

Annie is a patron of Mermaids a charity supporting trans and gender diverse children, young people and their families.  Mermaids started small but has now evolved into one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities.

On 29 October 2015, Annie made history by becoming the first transgender person to play a regular transgender character in a British soap opera when she debuted as school headteacher, Sally St. Claire in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.

Since starting in Hollyoaks, she has been regularly listed in the prestigious Rainbow List, Pride Power List, Diva Power List, and the USA OUT100, as one of the country’s most influential LGBT people.

She is a staunch supporter of transgender children, young people and their families. Her advocacy has seen her appear on Celebrity Mastermind, with Mermaids as her charity of choice.

To find out more about Annie see here

BIO

To find out more about Mermaids see here

To find out more about Transgender Day of Remembrance see here https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/transgender-day-of-rembrance-2020/

Meet Senegal’s first female professional surfer

Khadjou Sambe, Senegal’s first female professional surfer, trains near her home in the district of Ngor – the westernmost point of the African continent.

I would always see people surfing and I’d say to myself: ‘But where are the girls who surf?'” says the 25-year-old.”I thought: ‘Why don’t I go surfing, represent my country, represent Africa, represent Senegal, as a black girl?'”

Reuters photojournalist Zohra Bensemra has documented Sambe’s training and her coaching of other girls and women. More

Noor Inayat Khan: Muslim war hero who became ‘unlikely spy’ for Britain in WWII honoured with blue plaque

A Muslim woman who became an “unlikely spy” for Britain when she was dropped into occupied France during the Second World War has been honoured with a blue plaque at the site of her family home in London.

Noor Inayat Khan, dubbed “Britain’s first Muslim war heroine in Europe”, served in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the conflict.

Khan was born in 1914 in Moscow, but her family quickly moved to Bloomsbury in London’s West End at the outset of the First World War.

They then moved to France, where she looked after her mother and siblings following the death of her father.

However, in 1940, the family fled occupied France to Falmouth in Cornwall, where she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and trained as a radio operator, despite her Sufi pacifist beliefs.

She was recruited to the SOE – which was set up by Winston Churchill – in 1943, and was then sent back to France as an undercover radio operator.

In October that year, she was arrested by the Gestapo – the secret police of Nazi Germany – after she was betrayed by a French double agent, who was reportedly paid to hand her over.

Khan was questioned by Gestapo agents, who managed to imitate her over the radio so as not to arouse suspicion, but she escaped along with other members of the SOE.

She was recaptured nearby and taken to a German prison, where she was shackled and interrogated. She refused to cooperate, and managed to scratch carvings of her address on to her bowl so other prisoners could identify her.

After 10 months she was taken to the Dachau concentration camp, where she was executed with three other women.

The English Heritage tribute will mark the London family home which Khan left for Nazi-occupied France.

Shrabani Basu, Khan’s biographer, is unveiling the plaque on Taviton Street in Bloomsbury.

“When Noor Inayat Khan left this house on her last mission, she would never have dreamed that one day she would become a symbol of bravery. She was an unlikely spy,” she said.

“As a Sufi she believed in non-violence and religious harmony. Yet when her adopted country needed her, she unhesitatingly gave her life in the fight against fascism.

“It is fitting that Noor Inayat Khan is the first woman of Indian origin to be remembered with a blue plaque. As people walk by, Noor’s story will continue to inspire future generations.

“In today’s world, her vision of unity and freedom is more important than ever.”

The plaque will be unveiled at the address that Khan etched on to her bowl while in prison, with a virtual ceremony broadcast on English Heritage’s Facebook page at 7pm on Friday.

Khan’s plaque comes after English Heritage admitted the number of women represented by the scheme is “still unacceptably low”, with only 14% of London’s 950 plaques representing women.

The charity said that “if we are to continue to see a significant increase in the number of blue plaques for women, we need more female suggestions”.

Jamie Chadwick set for substantial backing for journey to Formula 1

Jamie Chadwick says she hopes the “stars will align” after a securing substantial backing to reach Formula 1.

Chadwick signed for the Italian Prema team following support from Rodin Cars’ multi-millionaire boss David Dicker.

The 22-year-old will compete in regional Formula 3 from this August, with the aim of rising up to International F3 and F2 with Prema.

She said the opportunity was a “dream” and hopes to be in a position to compete in F1 “by 2023 or 2024”.

The British driver, who won the female-only W Series last year, tested a car developed by Rodin in New Zealand in March, leading Dicker to claim she was an “exceptional talent”.

Rodin are aiming to produce the world’s fastest track car and to make it commercially available, and partnered Chadwick as a driver who could help with on-track feedback. More

British Army officer becomes first woman to pass brutal Para course

A British Army officer has become the first woman to pass a gruelling Parachute Regiment entry test.

Capt Rosie Wild, 28, was described as a “trailblazer” after passing the P Company course – which many men fail.

Several women have attempted P Company, also known as the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection (AAPPS), since they were first able to apply in the 1990s.

Physical challenges across the five days include a timed 20-mile endurance march and an aerial assault course. More

PDC Darts Championship: Fallon Sherrock beats Ted Evetts to make history

Fallon Sherrock became the first woman to win a match at the PDC World Championship by coming back from behind to stun Ted Evetts 3-2 in London.

The 25-year-old from Milton Keynes – only the fifth woman to play in the event – was cheered throughout a superb contest at Alexandra Palace.

Sherrock, the BDO Women’s World Championship runner-up in 2015, fell 2-1 behind but rallied to make history.

“I have proved that we can play the men and can beat them,” she said.

Sherrock ended the night in joyful tears after a thrilling victory over 22-year-old world number 77 Evetts, also from England. More

Booker Prize: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share award

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize after the judges broke their rules by declaring a tie.

Atwood’s The Testaments, the Canadian writer’s follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, was recognised alongside Londoner Evaristo’s novel Girl, Woman, Other.

The pair will split the literary award’s £50,000 prize money equally.

The Booker rules say the prize must not be divided, but the judges insisted they “couldn’t separate” the two works.

Atwood, 79, is the oldest ever Booker winner, while Evaristo is the first black woman to win. More

BBC 100 Women 2019: Who is on the list this year?

The BBC has revealed its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019.

This year 100 Women is asking: what would the future look like if it were driven by women?

From climate change activist Greta Thunberg, to trans woman Nisha Ayub who was put into a male prison aged 21, many on the list are driving change on behalf of women everywhere. They give us their vision of what life could look like in 2030.

Others, such as the “ghost” politician defying the mafia, and the footballer battling misogyny, are using their extraordinary personal experiences to blaze a path for those who follow. More

Transcontinental Race: Germany’s Fiona Kolbinger becomes first female winner of endurance race

Germany’s Fiona Kolbinger has beaten more than 200 men to become the first woman to win the Transcontinental Race, cycling more than 2,485 miles across Europe in just over 10 days.

The cancer researcher, 24, endured thunderstorms, scorching heat and icy rain in the solo race, which took her from Burgas, Bulgaria to Brest in north west France via five other countries.

After finishing in a time of 10 days, two hours and 48 minutes, Kolbinger says she could have “gone harder”, adding: “I could have slept less.”

Britain’s Ben Davies is poised to take second place, but he is yet to cross the finish line. He was still 124 miles (200km) away when Kolbinger finished on Tuesday morning. More