The International Canoe Federation is taking a step to increase the number of women involved at every level of canoe sports with a two-day symposium later this year in Dublin.
The ICF Women Symposium will tackle issues of leadership, coaching, and increasing female participation both on and off the water, says ICF vice-president, Cecilia Farias, who announced details of the symposium on International Women’s Day.
“Today is a significant day for women all around the world,” Farias says.
“We commemorate the women that preceded us in the pathway for the recognition of women’s rights. As someone who has been involved in this movement for many years, I have seen first hand some of the hurdles that have been placed in front of women along the way. These hurdles must be removed.”
Farias encouraged women at every level of paddle sports to register for the symposium, which will be held on September 26 and 27. She said the more voices that can be heard, and the more first-hand experiences that can be shared, the easier it will be to agree on a strategy to open doors for women at all levels.
Dr Farias says while the ICF had made positives steps in recent times, there was more that can be done.
“We have seen gender equity at the Olympics, Paralympics and at our international events, but when we look at the number of women coaches, or how many women we have on our Boards and serving as officials, we still have a long way to go,” Farias says. “I’m really looking forward to two days of discussions in Dublin, and hearing the ideas of women in our sport on how we can open up pathways to the top. We always look at this issue mostly from the perspective of men, so I will be very interested to hear the perspective of women.
“What can we improve and change within the framework of our rules, where do we have to think about structures that prevent a better presence of women?”
More details about the registration process for the symposium will be announced shortly.