BOA’s Women in Sport Commission Evolves into the Gender Equality Commission

The Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA) has announced the renaming of its Women in Sport Commission to the Gender Equality Commission. 

President of the BOA, Sandra Osborne, said that the name change, which took effect last month, is in keeping with the 2022 decision by the International Olympic Committee to rename its Women in Sport Commission to the Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commission. Noting that the mandate of the BOA’s commission is modelled on the IOC’s, Ms. Osborne said the rebranded commission continues to support and empower women while also advocating for gender equity in all aspects of sports.

“We have not gone as far as the IOC in that we have not added diversity and inclusion in our name, but the change from ‘women in sport’ to ‘gender equality’ provides us with an opportunity to strive for gender balance generally across the spectrum of everything we do, while at the same time keeping our focus on redressing the fact that the involvement of women and girls in Sport has lagged in some areas – not as athletes but in leadership and technical areas,” the BOA president stated.

Meanwhile, the chair of the Gender Equality Commission, Marsha Boyce, explained that the commission’s mandate is to promote gender equality in sport both on and off the field of play. 

“We do this through a wide range of activities, from our marquee event, the Esther Maynard Icon Award, which recognises the outstanding long-term contribution of Barbadian women in sport, to other initiatives that seek to empower women and girls in and through sport. We will continue to advocate for equitable representation in governance and leadership, the distribution of resources, and media portrayals, among other areas”.

Gender equality is an important area covered within the BOA’s strategic plan, which recognises sport’s role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The plan advocates for women’s meaningful representation in governance and leadership within the Olympic Movement and Commonwealth Sport in Barbados. 

The rebranded commission comprises the following members – Marsha Boyce (Chair), Mona Alleyne, Shawn Simpson, Ytannia Wiggins, Althea Belgrave (National Federation Representative), Fabian Norgrove (Athlete Representative), Fabian Sargeant and Vaneisha Cadogan (Non-voting).