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There is still 35% gender pay gap: Sona Ghazaryan

Today Sona GHAZARYAN /Armenia, had a speech on behalf of ALDE political group on the topic ‘’The fight for a level playing field – ending discrimination against women in the world of sport’’.


Honourable Chair, Dear colleagues,

I would also like to thank the rapporteur for very well-penned and detailed report that presents important data and clear and very strong messages on what should be done to make sport free of sexism, gender discrimination, and violence.

As it is clearly stated in the report, sport does remain the environment which is more favourable for men. Though the gates of sport have been gradually opened for female athletes, they still face a number of issues such as discrimination, gender pay gap, violence, sexist comments.

I would like to highlight the role of media, including social media, that often helps reproduce stereotypes and hate speech instead of contributing to sport becoming a safe and equal place for everyone. Media tend to represent women athletes as women first and athlete's second. A UNESCO survey say that coverage of women in sport is often dominated by reference to appearance, age, or personal life, whereas men are permanently depicted as powerful, independent, dominating, and valued as athletes.

Two weeks of Olympic coverage are a rare time when sustained coverage of women sport stars hits the headline. Yet, outside the period of major sporting festivals statistic claims that 40% of all sport participants are women. Yet, women's sport receive only 4% of sport major coverage.

The impact of the pandemic COVID-19 was also crucial for female athletes and created more physical and social pressure on female athletes.

The report points out a number of actions that should be done and can be done to improve the situation, such as training for all actors in the field of sport to prevent violence against women, having more women in decision-making bodies in federations, more leadership and coaching role will lead to a more gender-sensitive world of sport.

Yesterday, at the Sub-Committee on Education, Youth and Sport, we hosted Ms Francine Raveney, Deputy Executive Secretary of Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), and I asked her one question: If there is one thing that could be done to reach gender equality in sport, what should it be?

And the answer was very clear: it's equal pay.

There is still 35% gender pay gap. In 2017 sporting intelligence compared 12 best paid women's sport leagues with 12 best paid man sport leagues. The study found out that on average man in this elite sport earned 101 times the amount that women in the elite sport made. We must try to change this.

Equal pay for all.

Thank you.