More voices across the community means there are more opportunities to stop violence against women”. – AFL player Marcus Bontempelli
Sporting clubs have a huge effect on the quality of millions of Australian's lives. Some excel at creating safe, welcoming environments for everyone who enters them, regardless of whether they are predominantly male or female clubs. Others can intimidate, exclude and discriminate against particular types of people – even without meaning to.
"It’s important we get the message out there and talk to kids, and talk about the respect they should be having for women and young girls.” – AFL player Shaun Burgoyne.
Sports clubs that promote gender equality play a powerful role in establishing cultures that contribute to the prevention of violence against women, as men who learn to treat women as their equals are less likely to be violent and abusive towards them.
Take the quiz to help you see how your club is performing:
|Does your club...||ALWAYS||MOSTLY||NOT A LOT||TOTALS|
|Make an effort to create a club environment where women and girls feel welcomed and safe||3||2||1|
|Have a strong written statement about the importance of fairness and inclusion at the club (that goes beyond “we don’t turn anyone away”)||3||2||1|
|Have leaders who explicitly say that women and men will be treated equally at the club||3||2||1|
|Clearly communicate its position about gender equality to others (e.g. posters at the club, website, newsletters)||
|Have a clear process of promoting opportunities for men’s and women’s involvement in all the club’s roles||3||2||1|
|Reward and acknowledge the work of women and men equally||3||2||1|
|Have written guidelines for dealing with gender-related complaints and grievances||3||2||1|
|Have written and enforceable codes of conduct for players, officials and supporters that include the topics of sexism, discrimination and harassment||3||2||1|
|Know how to help women in the club if they are victims of violence||3||2||1|
|Make clear efforts to prevent sex discrimination, sexism and harassment||3||2||1|
|Have a culture that condemns sexist jokes and behaviour||3||2||1|
|Teach players, members and supporters about the links between sexism, gender inequality and violence against women||3||2||1|
|Invite women and girls to apply for roles outside of those associated with traditional gender stereotypes (e.g. cooking, cleaning, nursing, secretarial duties)||3||2||1|
|Invite men and boys to apply for roles outside of those associated with traditional gender stereotypes (e.g. maintenance, mowing, physical roles)||3||2||1|
|Have a mixture of males and females undertaking a variety of roles at the club||3||2||1|
|Have a good representation of women in important decision making positions (e.g. president, committee, coaches)||3||2||1|
What was your score?
42+ = Almost perfect! Aim to turn those ‘2’s into ‘3’s, but well done. You’ve obviously put a lot of thought and effort into creating an inclusive, welcoming club. It’s time to promote your club’s values and show others how to do it.
32 to 41 = That’s pretty good. Keep working on it and watch your support base grow.
Less than 40 = Well, the good news is there’s plenty of room for improvement. See VicHealth’s work on Creating Healthy Sporting Environments for more tips to build your membership, your crowds and your list of sponsors. As your club improves, it’ll also be playing an important role in preventing violence against women.
"I think the real courage is in saying, 'No'. If you hear it, not just discounting it, actually having the bravery to say 'No, that's not ok – that's unacceptable behaviour, and I won't stand for it'." – AFL player, Patrick Dangerfield.