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Parity in the governing bodies of sport: a bill examined in the Senate


Every day, the morning of Europe 1 returns to one of the sporting events which makes the news. This Tuesday, Virginie Phulpin is interested in the bill examined in the Senate which plans to establish parity in the governing bodies of sport. According to her, this is excellent news.


The Senate is examining today and tomorrow the bill “Democratizing sport”. In this text, there is an article devoted to the governance of sport. Minister Roxana Maracineanu wants to establish gender parity in national sports bodies from 2024.

Equality between women and men in sport cannot be permanently postponed. France will organize the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024, you will not have missed it. And these games will be symbolically the first in history to be totally equal, with the same number of female and male athletes on the track. It’s pretty on paper, but it can’t be an end in itself. On the contrary, it must be the starting point for true equality. And it is built first in the governing bodies of sport in France. It starts from the top of the pyramid. You know, the famous runoff. When you have only men or almost to make the decisions, whether we like it or not, women’s sport will never be the priority.

The numbers speak for themselves. Only 18 women are at the head of one of the 113 sports federations in France. 18 women for 95 men. Is there anything that shocks you? We pronounce great sentences on equality, hand on heart, but as soon as the machine seizes up, as soon as a crisis rocks the boat, like the health crisis for example, we put equality back in the open, because you understand, we have more urgent matters to manage. There, with this bill, there is a real opportunity to move from words to action.

Do we need to go through the law to achieve parity?

If we only count on the change of mentalities and the good words, nothing evolves. There will always be a good excuse to postpone the matter. Only political will moves the lines. And there, in this case, the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, has made a strong commitment in this direction with this bill. With this chapter on the governance of sport, and the establishment of parity in national sport bodies from 2024. I mean national bodies, we know that at the local level, it can take a little longer , and we are talking about 2028. The senators deleted an important point from the text, which is the non-accumulation of mandates.

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And that is a real barrier to change. The renewal of the leaders will also be done if the elected officials cannot represent themselves and keep their seat ad vitam aeternam or almost. Do not be afraid, there will be competent women to sit in the executive offices of the federations. We often talk about the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games without knowing exactly what this term covers. If 2024 is both the year of the first egalitarian games and of parity in sports bodies, then that would be a real legacy.

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