The mission of ‘Empowering Women in Sports’ is to identify barriers that hinder women’s participation in sports and to implement initiatives that improve gender equality. This is not only aimed at athletes, but also at female coaches, officials, and board members.

This initiative will be developed in close collaboration with the communities, Sport Vlaanderen, Adeps, Ostbelgien, sports federations and many other partners.


Stimulating awareness about this issue through interviews with athletes, former athletes, board members, officials and coaches.
Stimulating the sport participation of girls and women through activities in schools and sports clubs led by athletes.
Organizing training days, network events and other meetings on Gender Equality.

A Taskforce “Women & Sports” was set up within the BOIC board of directors in 2018, which is responsible for the strategic and policy approach. The BOIC Taskforce is led by Dominique Gavage with the collaboration of Gwenda Stevens and Dominique Monami (former tennis star and bronze medal winner of the Sydney 2000 Games), all three also members of the BOIC Board of Directors.

A survey by the BOIC Taskforce among 214 female athletes, coaches, directors and officials of Team Belgium showed that 68% believe that women are underrepresented in sporting structures. In addition, only 23% think that women receive as much media attention as their male opponents, while the media, according to the same survey, have a very large responsibility. Finally, 72% of female athletes indicate that women are considered less financially than their male counterparts. In other words: time for action!

But top athletes also find it necessary to actively work on gender equality and the activation of girls and women in sports activities. A group of athletes consisting of Ann Wauters, Gella Vandecaveye, Tia Hellebaut, Evi Van Acker, Kim Gevaert, Gitte Haenen, Kimberly Buys, Elfje Willemsen and Nicky De Locke will develop activities for this purpose under the name ‘Game Changers’. This group will be expanded to include other interested female and male athletes who would like to be involved in this initiative.

Both initiatives, the BOIC Taskforce and the ‘Game Changers’ are now going to join forces to promote gender equality in sport, both policy-wise and “on the pitch”.

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