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UK’s Women and Equalities Committee calls for kit changes

March 07 2024 - News Release News Editorial

The UK’s Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) has called for “properly researched and designed” kit that suits the health and performance needs of women and girls in sport at all levels. 

UK’s Women and Equalities Committee calls for kit changes

Calling on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) and the Department for Education (DfE) to establish a workforce, the cross-party committee recommended key priorities for research. These included actions to increase availability of female-specific sportswear and kit, including football boots as a priority; and steps to achieve equal representation of women (as authors and study participants) in the field of sports and exercise research. 

Additionally, the WEC urged the Department of Education to review the quality of teaching around girls’ health and physiology, including the effects of puberty, the menstrual cycle and periods in the context of PE (physical education) and school sport. 

“Women and girls from grass roots level right through to elite sport deserve kit and equipment that is made specifically for them and enhances their performance." Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP

In a recent report, WEC warned of a lack of understanding and attention to female health and physiology-related needs, particularly within women’s football which experiences ‘disproportionately high’ rates of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injuries.

“It is symptomatic of gender inequality and sexism in the sports sector that the first football boot in the world designed around female feet came to the market less than four years ago,” said Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP.

“Women and girls from grass roots level right through to elite sport deserve kit and equipment that is made specifically for them and enhances their performance. While there are positive signs of progress in the sports and exercise research sector, fundamental change is required to achieve equality of attention to health and physiology-related issues affecting women in sport.

“As the Committee’s report clearly shows, there needs to be an equal focus on tackling the health barriers for females in sport at all stages. It is time for a more effective and better coordinated, cross-departmental, sector-wide approach, benefitting women and girls throughout their sporting lives from early years, through puberty and motherhood, to midlife and beyond.”

Image: My Profit Tutor on Unsplash

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