Conference Summaries

The following is a list of Women in Sport conferences, summaries of the proceedings taken by members of WSI, and links to information about relevant conferences that WSI members did not attend.

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies – 2018 July, Chukyo University, Nagoya
The 17th conference sets a comprehensive theme for the next three years, as Japan gets ready to host the 2019 men’s Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games. The theme is “Looking at sports and gender—looking after the Tokyo 2020 convention.” As Tokyo is undergoing redevelopment, it seems that the economy and society are revitalizing. On the other hand, due to social disparities, there are people who are peripheralized and invisible from sports activities and healthy living. The conference focuses on social disparity and sport from a gender perspective and explores the direction that should be achieved after the Tokyo 2020 conference.
Read an outline of the program.

2018 Safe Sport Global Summit
In April 2018, WSI Vice-President Na’da Knorre, Past-President Kari Fasting, and Extended Board members Diane Huffman and Gretchen Kerr took part in the first international forum run by Safe Sport International, in Madrid, Spain. It was titled Challenging Violence in Sport: First Global Summit Safe Sport International Conference.

Organisers stated that it was the first time that leading practitioners, academics, sports organisations and organisations working to end violence in sport had come together to share their work and co-ordinate a global response with one simple goal—to end violence in sport.

There were speakers from 10 countries and delegates from 6 of 7 of the world’s continents and more than 20 countries. The Spanish High Council of Sport supported the event, which was hosted by the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Kari Fasting presented on Definitions and prevalence of different forms of non-accidental violence against athletes, Gretchen presented on The impact of preventative measures, and Diane Huffman was part of a panel on Safe policy and major events—African examples. Delegates were invited to a workshop, Towards a global collaboration to end violence against athletes in sport.

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies – 2017 July, Kyoto Gakuen University, Kyoto
The 16th conference had the theme “Equality and symbiosis in diversity”. Read an outline of the 2017 program.

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies – 2016 July, Tokyo
The 15th memorial conference had the theme “Representation of Sports Body in Media”. WSI Secretary Toni Bruce was a keynote speaker and presented a paper, Sportswomen in the Media: An Analysis of International Trends in Olympic and Everyday Coverage, which included examples from Japanese and international media. Toni was also a respondent (with a translator) for several panels during the conference. Link to the conference 2016 program.

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies – 2015 July, Meiji University, Tokyo
The 14th conference had the theme “Equality and fairness in sport: From a gender perspective”.  Read an outline of the 2015 program.

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies – 2014 July, Chukyo University, Tokyo
The 13th conference at Chukyo University had the theme “Range of Sports and Gender Studies”. Read an outline of the 2014 program.

IWG World Conference on Women and Sport – June 2014, Helsinki, Finland
The 6th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport was organized under the main theme “Lead the Change – Be the Change” in Helsinki, Finland on June 12 – 15, 2014. About 830 people from almost 100 countries took part in the event that laid down the updated principles for advancing women’s and girls’ sport and physical activity globally. Access videos of speakers, reports, photos and newsletters from the conference. Read the Helsinki 2014 Declaration.

WSI and WSI members were well-represented at the conference:

  • WSI Past President Kari Fasting presented on Zambian Women’s Experiences of Harassment and Abuse in Sport
  • WSI and Carole Oglesby were involved in the presentation of a leadership toolkit developed with Ohio University.
  • Advisory Board member Jinxia Dong presented on National Identity, Olympic Victory and Women’s Sport in People’s Republic of China.
  • Advisory Board member Johanna Adriaanse presented on Women in Sport Governance: Do Gender Quotas Work?
  • Advisory Board member Toni Bruce presented a Poster on Discourses of Sportswomen in the Media: New Rules for New Times.

Three presentations were made by members who thereafter joined the Advisory Board

  • Nefeli Chondrogianni on Women Sports in the UAE: Case Study of Abu Dhabi Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy
  • Gretchen Kerr on Keeping Sport Safe: Are Athlete Protection Policies Being Implemented?,
  • Becky Clark on Breaking Barriers and Opening Doors for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Girls and Women in Sport

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies – 2013 July, Kyoto University of Education, Kyoto
This conference had the theme “Body and Empowerment” and a special program on “Physical Education, Sport and Violence/Sexual Violence”.

The program includes:

  1. Symposium: “Possibilities of physical activity for empowerment” by Keiko Aiba (Meijigakuin University), Misaka Kimura (Kyotogakuen University), Keiko Itani (Kyoto University of Education), and Haruko Takaoka (Graduate School of Tsukuba University, a secretary of Japan Ladies Basketball League).
  2. Special Program: “Physical Education, Sport and Violence/Sexual Violence: From
    the scene of newspaper reporting” by Hiroshi Ochiai (The Mainichi Newspapers).
  3. Special Address: “Education, Body and Politics” by Shigeo Kodama (Tokyo University).

Read the outline. (.pdf)

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies – 2012 July, Gakushuin Women’s College, Tokyo
This conference had the theme “Gender and Sport in Development”.  Read more. (.pdf)

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies – 2011 July
This conference had the theme “Sport and Gender Studies: Today’s Situation and the Future”.  Read the overview. (.pdf)

WSI at ‘European / Middle East Network’ meeting – Oct 11-15, 2010, Alexandria University, Egypt
Final Statement
Between Oct 11th – 15th 2010 Alexandria University hosted an international symposium with representatives from IAPESGW, ICSSPE, WSI and SAAW. The purpose was to develop the ‘European and Middle East network’ to improve global reach through international networks on gender and sport related knowledge exchange across Europe and the Middle East. Delegates came from Egypt, Oman, Lebanon, UK, Germany, Denmark, Norway (Iran / Turkey). Delegates shared aims and knowledge of international networks and discussed potential for further collaboration for the benefit of global reach. A presentation of delegates’ work and research was made to University of Alexandria’s Faculty and students. Further research and development links were discussed.

Closing commitments – Participants aim to:

  1. Report the Symposium on Association web-sites and update developments in networking and research links.
  2. Sustain the network (ICSSPE, IAPESGW, WSI, SAAW) for continued knowledge exchange and mutual support in furthering international links in sport and gender related issues.
  3. Further European and Middle East links by:
    a) Reaffirming and extending dissemination of the ‘Accept and Respect’ declaration;
    b) Fostering exchanges across European / Middle Eastern partners;
    c) Developing guidance for early researchers in publishing research;
    d) Collaborating with and supporting early researchers with writing / English language skills;
    e) Continuing to identify, develop and exchange knowledge on gender and sport related issues.

Revision of preamble for ‘Accept and Respect’ Declaration
The ‘Accept and Respect’ declaration emerged from an international study week facilitated by Sultan Qaboos University, Oman in 2008. The need for such a gathering and declaration arose from difficulties for some Muslim girls and women in many countries regarding participation in recreational or elite sport, physical education or teacher / coach training. Problems are often linked to lack of knowledge and understanding about the significance of religious and cultural values. The intention of the declaration is to support all girls and women whose preferences for sport participation should be ‘Accepted and Respected’.

WSI at ACSM Conference, June 1-6, 2010 – Baltimore, USA
Consensus Statement from WSI Conference Addressing the Issue of Disorders of Sexual Differentiation (DSD)
The conference was held in June in conjunction with the Annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine. A committee appointed by Arne Ljungqvist, MD, Chair of the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission has focused on what action current science would recommend if an athlete were diagnosed with a disorder of sexual differentiation (DSD). Their concern was with the elite athlete and whether some disorders might provide a woman with an unfair advantage in competition. The definition of “unfair” remained to be determined. While gender tests for female athletes are no longer a requirement for participation in women’s events, testing for performance enhancing drugs and methods remains part of the effort to promote fair play in Olympic competition. Unfortunately, the biochemical effect of some medical conditions may result in testosterone levels well beyond the normal range for women. If so, these women run the risk of being unfairly identified as potential users of a performance enhancing drug. Early identification of these conditions would benefit the athletes by allowing corrective action of the medical problem at a younger age, sparing them the trauma of being investigated for illegal use of drugs and being denied participation in Olympic events. WomenSport International, in cooperation with the American College of Sports Medicine, recently convened a Consensus Conference to discuss this issue. Read the results of our deliberations. (.pdf)

IWG World Conference on Women in Sport – May 20-23 2010, Sydney Australia
The 5th IWG Conference took the theme “Play, Think, Change.” Reflecting the theme, the Conference program was designed with a unique blend of presentations about good practices and cutting-edge research to stimulate debate and explore positive change for women and sport. The conference aimed to:

  • Review the progress for women and sport since the 4th World Conference on Women and Sport in Kumamoto, Japan in 2006, sharing experiences and celebrating achievements
  • Build a global community of practice for women, sport and human rights
  • Strengthen and support the development of women and sport in the Oceania Region
  • Provide a vision for sustained development and progress of the global women and sport movement from 2010-2014

The conference had five sub-themes, including: Women, sport and human rights; Financing and media for gender equality in sport; Physical activity and health for women; sport and social; and Engaging Generation Y and Z in sport and physical activity.
WSI was well represented at the conference:

  • WSI President Kari Fasting was a keynote speaker on Attacking Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport, participated in a Panel Discussion: Unite to End Violence Against Women in Sport, and co-presented a Poster: From Research to Social Change
  • WSI Advisory Board member Anita White chaired two panels: on Lifelong Participation and Women, Sport and Human Rights
  • Advisory Board member Takako Iida presented on Perceptions and Experiences of Sexual Harassment by Japanese Coaches and Athletes
  • Advisory Board member Lydia la Rivière-Zijdel presented on Economic Empowerment through Sport for Women with Disabilities ‘The SPAT program in Ethiopia’
  • Advisory Board member Chris Shelton presented on Development of Sport infrastructure for Women in Ibero-America
  • Takako Iida and Kari Fasting served on the Program Review Committee

Read more about the conference.
Read the conference program booklet. (.pdf)
Access the From Kumamoto to Sydney: Sport Progress Report 2006-2010 (.pdf).

Asia Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing +15, October 2009, Quezon City, Phillippines
The forum takes place October 22-24, 2009 at Miriam College in Quezon City, Philippines. Read about the conference.

Japan Society for Sport and Gender – July 2009, Tokyo
The 8th Congress was held at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center, Tokyo. The first theme of this congress was Sport and Gender in East Asia -the Issues and the Perspectives-. The program included: 1) Lecture: “Policy for Women and its Issues in East Asia in recent years.” 2) Reports: “The Present Situation concerning Gender Mainstreaming in Sports in East Asia” -The Present Situation in China and South Korea.

The second theme was Physical Education and Sport and Gender in the University Education. The program included Symposium and Group Discussion.
Whole program included presentations of papers on sport and gender studies. For the full conference program, go to the former JSSGS site, then click the Conference tab at the top, then click on Congress and select the year. Website:

WSI at ISCEMIS 2008, Guangzhou, China
WSI held a symposium at the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ISCEMIS) in Guangzhou, China
from 1-4 August, 2008. Read more. (.pdf)

Japan Society for Sport and Gender, July 2008, Dawn Centre, Osaka Prefectural Women’s Center, Osaka
The theme of the 7th conference was “Media, Sport and Gender.” The program includes: 1) Symposium and group discussions on “Possibilities of Sport Media friendly to an individual”, coordinated by Prof. Takako Iida; 2) Workshops A “Sport News Reports and Media Literacy” and Workshop B “Sexual Minority and Sport and Physical Education”; and 3) Presentations of papers on sport and gender studies. For the full conference program, follow this link to the former JSSGS site, then click the Conference tab at the top, then click on Congress and select the year. Website:

ATTC Women’s Meeting at Parapan American Games Rio 2007.
The first Women’s Meeting organized by the ATTC (Americas Table Tennis Committee for the disabled) was held, during the Parapan
American Games Rio 2007. The aim of the meeting was to give information about what the ITTF Women’s Group was doing to
promote table tennis for women at all levels, and encourage women from Americas to use the ITTF Women’s Group as a model in
order to start work in the development of table tennis for women with a disability in our region.
Read Conference Report (.pdf)
Also available in Spanish (.pdf)

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies, July 2007, Hosei University, Tokyo
The successful Sixth Conference held on 7 and 8 in July, 2007. The theme of this conference was “Gender and Understanding of Sex Difference in the Research of Physical Education and Sport Science”. Read a brief report (.pdf).

Lausanne IF Women’s Network – June 8, 2007
The Lausanne IF Women’s Network met on 8 June 2007 at the Headquarters of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The network is an initiative of Lilamani de Soysa, ITTF Project Manager and IWG member, and Brigitte Zuffrey from the International Motorcycling Federation, who both attended the IWG World Conference in Kumamoto, Japan. Following the conference, in the spirit of the Kumamoto Commitment to Collaboration, they formed the network for women in International Federations in Lausanne. WSI Executive Committee member Johanna Adriaanse (Vescio) joined them at the meeting in which several exciting plans were developed. Download the report. (.pdf).

Gender Equity in Sport for Social Change – Casablanca, Morocco, May 2007 (story about conference and road race).
Read the Report (.pdf)

Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies, July 2006, Kyoto.
Read the report of the Fifth Anniversary Conference. (.pdf)
For information about earlier Japan Society of Sport and Gender Studies conferences, For conference reports from 2003, follow this link to the former JSSGS site, then click the Conference tab at the top, then click on Congress and select the year.

South East Asia Women in Sport Conference – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sept 2006
Read the Report (.pdf).

Network to Further Women in Sport Holds Inaugural Meeting at ITTF Headquarters – Sept 1, 2006
A `Think Tank’ to help promote the presence of women in sport held its first meeting at the offices of the International Table Tennis Federation in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday 1st September 2006. Read the Summary (.pdf)

IWG Women and Sport Conference – Kumomoto, Japan, May 2006
WomenSport International played a key role in the 4th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport which took place in Kumamoto, Japan from 11-14 May 2006 under the auspices of the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG). WSI President Kari Fasting was part of the Conference Planning Sub group and led a workshop on sexual harassment while WSI Executive Board member Johanna Vescio was installed as the new IWG Co-Chair for 2006-2010. The conference theme was “Participating in Change”.  Read our Report (.pdf)

2005 “Mediterranean Culture and Women in Sport” Seminar November 4-5 2005, Thessaloniki, Greece.
The Congress topics included sport leadership, research, sexual harassment, sports law, sport in PE and education, sports media and the roles, functions and structures of sport and sport associations.

2005 15th IAPESGW Congress – August 10-13, 2005 University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
This conference took the title “Learning and Leadership: Women’s Influence in Policy, Research and Practice”. The program consisted of plenary sessions with keynote speakers, parallel thematic sessions, workshops, demonstrations, and special events with space for hundreds of oral and poster presentations. The plenary sessions, workshops and demonstrations will be pre-planned, while the thematic sessions and poster presentations will be specifically for free communications not necessarily related to the Congress theme. There was also a full program of social and cultural activities. Read about IAPESGW conferencesVisit the IAPESGW website.

2005 1st International Sports Psychology Conference June 8-11: University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria. The conference had the theme: ““Exploring the multifaceted dimensions in exercise and sports psychology”

Seminar to Celebrate “International Year of Sport & Physical Education 2005”
Prof. Dr. Akhlaq Ahmed. Pro-Vice Chancellor, (University of Karachi) was The Chief Guest of closing ceremony of the Seminar on International Year of Sport and Physical Education-2005 held in Karachi, Pakistan on 9th December 2005. He addressed the delegates of the Seminar and said that the celebration of the International year of Sport & Physical Education-2005 is symbol of our participation in the Universal community.

2nd Magglingen Conference: Call for greater commitment from all players – December 6, 2005
Over 400 participants from 70 countries at the 2nd Magglingen Conference on Sport and Development in Magglingen, Switzerland, adopted a Call to Action today, resolving to use sport to improve the quality of education and health, eradicate poverty, and foster peace and tolerance.
Download the Call to Action (.pdf) | Download the Press release  (.pdf)

IOC Medical Commission focus on the health of athletes – November 2005
Protecting the health of the athlete is the primary goal of the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission (IOC MC). Recently two Consensus Conferences of interest to WSI members were convened at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The results of the Conferences included an IOC Medical Commission Working Group Women in Sport position stand on the effect of the Female Athlete Triad on the health and performance of the female athlete, and an IOC consensus statement on Training the Elite Child Athlete.

UN Millennium Project Task Force 3 on Education and Gender Equality reports
The UN Millennium Project Task Force 3, on Education and Gender Equality, produced two major reports in 2005: on universal primary education, and on achieving gender equality and empowering women. The Task Force also organized a high-level conference to bring attention to the missed 2005 interim goal on gender parity, held in Washington D.C. Read or download the the reports:
Toward Universal Primary Education: Investments, Incentives, and Institutions” (pdf)
Taking Action: Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering Women” (pdf)

2004 The 10th ICHPER SD-Europe Congress & The TSSA 8th International Sport Sciences Congress, in Antalya, Turkey. Nov 17-20
This conference had the title “Improving the Standards of Life in Technical Age Through HPERSD”. Read the conference program (.pdf)

2004 International Conference on Women’s Sports for Peace and Development in Kathmandu, Nepal, November 16-19.
The main goals of the conference were to: expose Nepali women to the broader international arena of women in sports; promote the importance of sports as a means for bridging cross-cultural differences and conflict and engendering attitudes which enhance cooperation, peace and development; provide an opportunity to learn more and discuss about common issues, particularly in women in sports and their participation in decision making levels; and expose others to the development needs of Nepal, particularly those relating to young women.

2004 Pre Olympic Conference: “Sport Sciences through the ages: Challenges in the new millennium”, August 6–11, 2004, in Thesoloniki, Greece,
Read a brief description of the conference on their website.



2004 III World conference on women and sport: Morocco, 2004.
Conference and Progress reports, and Marrakech Declaration –
Since 1996, the IOC’s advocacy action has been supported by the organisation of quadrennial World Conferences on Women and Sport. The objectives have been to:

  • create awareness about women’s role in sport;
  • assess the progress made in the area of gender equality in sport; and
  • define future priority actions to promote women in sport.

The conference in Marrakech, Morocco, was the third conference, held under the theme of “New Strategies, New Commitments”. The outcome document acknowledged the slow rate of progress, reaffirmed the targets established in 1996 by the IOC, IFs and NOCs to have at least 20 per cent women on their executive boards and legislative bodies by 2005 and consider the period beyond; and encouraged the entire sports movement to correct the gender imbalance. Read the IOC World Conferences on Women and Sport summary (.pdf)

2002 WSI International Conference, St Louis, USA: “Physical Activity and Health Guidelines for Women: National and International Considerations Related to Ethnicity and Race”
On June 2, 2002 forty invited participants from around the world gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA to bring their expertise to bear on the topic of the Conference: Physical Activity and Health Guidelines for Women: National and International Considerations Related to Ethnicity and Race. Considering the fact that the data which support the current American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Position Stand related to physical activity and health have been derived almost exclusively from Caucasian men and women, do the conclusions based on these data apply to other racial/ethnic populations? The group also considered the need for research on the outcome from programs which are tailored to diverse cultural/community values and preferences.
Read the conference summary and download reports on our Physical Activity Task Force page.


1994 IWG World Conference on Women and Sport, Brighton, England, May 1994
This conference produced the ground-breaking Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport. The overriding aim was to develop a sporting culture that enables and values the full involvement of women in every aspect of sport. It was addressed to all governments, public authorities, organisations, businesses, educational and research establishments, women’s organisations and individuals who were responsible for—or directly or indirectly influenced—the conduct, development or promotion of sport, or were in any way involved in the employment, education, management, training, development or care of women in sport. The Declaration was meant to complement all sporting, local, national and international charters, laws, codes, rules and regulations relating to women or sport.