Module 3 – Gender Equality in Sports

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Title of the module: 

Gender Equality in Sports 

Module objective(s):  The curriculum "The ethics in sport" in its 3rd module should raise awareness of the role of women in sport. Understand the existence of gender inequality in sports and the need to achieve equality. Explain basic theoretical concepts important for understanding the interpersonal theme (gender, equality, stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination).  
Key learning outcomes/learning challenges/learning problems: 

Learning outcome 1: Understanding key terms in gender equality

• Students will understand and recognize the difference between terms sex and gender.

• Students will understand the difference between stereotypes and prejudices.

• Students will notice different kind of discrimination and inequality in sports, such as inequality of chances to practice sports, media representation, unequal payment, prejudice, stereotypes.

Implementation idea/activity/example:

Fishbowl exercises
Fishbowls method of discussion is useful for ventilating ethical-sport topics or sharing ideas or information from a variety of perspectives of sport topics. Students will discuss through the fishbowl method about their attitudes regarding the meaning of the word sex and gender. Furthermore, students will realize that we are all sometimes victims of prejudice and stereotypes and will express their personal opinion about the level of female underpayment in sports.

Ultimate frisbee game
Frisbee is played with seven players on each side. The team must be composed of three players of one gender and four of the other (co-ed). Teamwork is absolutely essential in order to be successful. The group cohesiveness and unity as one team is what has put them ahead of the competition.

Learning outcome 2:
The Representation of Women's Sports in the Media

Students will become aware of a large disparity in the amount of TV program dedicated to male or female sports. Women’s sport is hugely under-represented in the media and young women don’t get to see the role models and possibilities for women’s sport.

Access to resources, structures and leadership

Students will understand the dominance of leading positions in sports by men, although it is often a matter of exclusively women's sport. Besides infrastructure, sports programmes for women and girls have shown to require organisational structure as well. Sports programmes that assure women and girls active board membership in leading positions, equity, financial means, participation in decision-making and strategic planning are likely to be more successful in producing lasting change in the self-perception and self-confidence of female participants in such programmes. The representation of women in management and professional bodies, as well as on the management and professional functions of sports in Croatia, is less than 20%, as recommended by the International Olympic Committee as a minimum.

Implementation idea/activity/example: In- class debate

Students will discuss the allegations that the representation of male sport on TV programs is justified/unjustified because male sport is more attractive. In-class debate is a method perfectly suitable for teaching problematic topics in sports that have pro et contra argumentation on equal bases.

Learning outcome 3: to discuss and understand possible causes of gender inequality in sports

Students will find out in which areas possible progress can be made in creating equality between men and women The causes of gender inequality in sports are multi-layered, and many of them have their roots in the position, status and role of women in general in society. Some of the possible causes of the unequal position of women in sports which have not yet appeared in public discussions are:

1. Sports cannot be seen partially, outside the context of society. Society maps its patterns of behavior, culture, customs and tradition to all areas of life and sports. Sport is, with all the virtues it attracts (respect for the rival, modesty in victory ...) at its core, a competition (proofing our supremacy over the rival). The founder of the Olympic Movement, Pierre de Coubertin, encouraged by the French-Prussian War, expressed the wish that young people compete in sports grounds, not in the battlefield. Domination and competition, by nature, are more characteristic of male habit (this argument can be further argued during the project)

2. Since when sport as a game has ceased to be a goal for itself, and the economy has taken on a leading role, sport has taken on the economic canon of behaviour based on supply and demand. Significant role played by the fact that more and more people are engaged in sports. Sports disciplines that have a greater public interest also generate higher profits. The number of audiences on sports events is largely (or indirectly over the media) dictated the level of athletes' earnings and media coverage.

3. Professional engagement with some activity and desire for excellence requires a great deal of renunciation. Unlike other activities (science, art, etc.), the sport demands great mental and physical effort. Women in sport are under greater pressure from family obligations than male athletes. Due to pregnancy and parenthood, women are discouraged from sports fields and intense training for a longer period of time.

Article 1. of the Croatian Sport Law prescribes that sport must be equally accessible to all regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, social status, political or other belief. The same applies to the Olympic Charter, and in 2007 the European Commission launched a "White Paper on Sport", which contains proposals for future European Community activity in the field of sport. In a question about participating in sport, gender inequality is not so noticeable. However, when it comes to complementary activities within organizations without which modern, economically oriented sport is unimaginable, sexual inequality becomes apparent.

• Status and training conditions

Club status, conditions for preparation, training, and evaluation of results are uneven. The curriculum "The ethics in sport" in its 3. modules should raise awareness of the role of women in sport, stimulate the system of women's research in sport, particularly in terms of health, sociological, educational, economic and social attitudes, encourage inclusion of women in decision-making processes, dealing with these issues and other important issues of women's activity in sports.

• Equal Educational Access to Girls and Boys in Physical and Health Education

Teachers should pay attention to the following aspects of teaching:
• The activity must be the same for girls and boys.
• Girls and boys should be equally praised of their good performance and proven effort
• Give the same amount of feedback to girls and boys
• Express equal expectations of both girls and boys
• Girls and boys should have same chance to demonstrate elements
• Always intervene when boys or girls exhibit negative sexual stereotypes
• Use strategies and teaching styles that do not support sexual bias

• More emphasize the value of exercise for girls

In a report entitled “Her Life Depends On It” released in 2004, researchers conducted a comprehensive review of existing literature on the relationship between physical activity and girls’ health (Sabo, Miller, Melnick, & Heywood, 2004). They concluded that “the current state of knowledge on the relationship of physical activity to the health and social needs of American girls warrants the serious attention of public health officials, educators and sport leaders” (p. 2) A compilation of research findings indicate that girls face what the authors describe as a “daunting array” of health risks in their youth and later life that can be reduced through physical activity and sport participation.

• Curricula and Programs

There is a need to put more choices of girls' sports in the school curriculum of physical and health education. Girls should not only choose between dance and gymnastics while boys are doing outdoor sports. Dance, gym, basketball and football should be options for all genders. Girls have the ability to be excellent in any sport and should encourage them to do so.  

Possible additional learning outcomes  The historical context of fighting for women’s rights, the public opinion on gender equality, understanding the notion of tolerance, manipulation, censorship, propaganda and prejudice. 
How to learn and work with this module –specific instructions that teachers and students may require and which relate to the whole module, including specific references to the cross-curricular approach: 

• Subject that are associated with this curriculum are catechism, ethics, philosophy, history, physical education, literature, biology, geography. It is crucial to encourage cooperation among students with the aim of recognizing wealth in diversity, but also in relation to diversity. It is also crucial that students realize that a person can build a quality only in communion with another and different. Students should explain what kind of behavior will build and what kind of behavior will disrupt interpersonal communion.

• physical education, ethics, biology, philosophy, sociology, psychology, marketing, didactics, religion

School subjects related to the modules: Ethics, Philosophy, PE, catechism, History, Biology, Chemistry, etc. The key educational content of the relationship between genders is to create a system of values regarding relationships between genders and to encourage gender equality.  

Key educational content / subject areas associated with the modules: 

Students need to learn that both sexes have their own distinctiveness and quality that needs to be equally valued, appreciated and accepted. Children at the earliest age must adopt ethical and moral standards based on the equality of every man regardless of ethical, racial, sexual, age or religious affiliation.

Teachers should plan and program their teaching according to didactic principles: abstraction, activity and development, systematicity and procedurality, differentiation and integration, appropriation and effort, individualization and socialization and rationalization and economics This module should be dealt by educating from the earliest age in kindergartens, schools and rural areas. First symptoms of inequality appear at very young age in conservative areas where girls are given specific roles.

To encourage equality by educating and stimulate the areas to create equality using different measures (obligatory female clubs, specific female quota etc.)  

Further details of the key educational content that will be covered and that contribute to the delivery of the modules, including  
(i) Brief reference to the most effective methods or modes of learning: 

• The most effective methods are: Socratic dialogue, In-class debate, Fishbowl exercise, Focus group

• In organizational forms, put emphasis on mixed groups in which both girls and boys will have equal tasks.  

iii) Brief reference to the modes of assessing secondary school students (in relation to the learning outcomes): 

Informal and individualized assessment methods such as:
• anecdotal record,
• rating scales for behavior,
• event sampling,
• self-reflection,
• sports diary,
• probing in discussion.

Numerical assessment of oral and written knowledge examination. Critical evaluation of engagement, presentation, group work and field teaching. Evaluating the level of achievement of the outcomes can be underpinned by the educational task Transparent, public and continued following, assessing by the given elements according to the expected outcomes. A) Numeral assessing (giving points, written and oral exams) and B) Criterial assessing (classification, group work (presentations, public appearances and field work))  

(iii) Bibliography/resources: 


1. Ellen J. Staurowsky, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Mary Jo Kane, Emily Wughalter, Athena Yiamouyiannis and Phyllis K. Lerner., Gender equity in phisical education and atletics

2. Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports., Law on Sports,2015

3. International Olympic Committee., Olympic Charter

4. European Commission., The White Book on Sport., Brussels, 2007

5. Second Vatican Council: Documents

6. United Nations, Division for the Advancement of Women Department of Economic and Social Affairs., Women, gender equality and sport

7. Clotilde Talleu: Gender Equality in Sports, 2011, Council of Europe European Institute for Gender Equality: Gender Equality in Sport

8. European Commission., (2014) Gender Equality in Sport: Proposed Strategic Measure 2014-2020.  

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