Biathlon is a sport with very high standards when it comes to Gender Equality at the competition level. The IBU ensures equal quota places for men and women at major events and an equal amount of medal events for women and men throughout the World Cup and at major events like the World Championships and Olympic Games. The IBU provides equal price money to both genders. Mixed Relays and Single Mixed Relays formats have become a core part of biathlon.
Women are playing and have played a major role in developing the sport of Biathlon, but there is a lack of female leadership in National Federations and the coaching staff. This is something we want to address firmly in the future.
One of the first steps taken was that in 2019 the IBU Executive Board decided to launch a “Women in Biathlon” Seminar to drive discussions on how the IBU can improve opportunities for women in the sport. The Executive Board subsequently established the IBU Gender Equality Working Group (GEC) in 2020 to help guide and advise the federation on strategies and policies that will enhance gender equality at all levels of biathlon. The role of the Working Group is to ensure that the IBU’s gender equality policy is created and implemented in line with international standards and is focused on four priority areas:
Equal representation and gender sensitivity in decision making.
Equal representation and gender equality in coaching and teaching in sports.
The fight against gender violence in sport and the role of sport in preventing gender violence.
The fight against negative gender stereotypes in sports and the promotion of positive role models and the role of media in this perspective.
The members of the Working Group were selected by the Executive Board and comprised male and female representatives with diverse experience and expertise related to gender equality. Former Norwegian athlete and Professor Emerita at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, Norway, Kari Fasting, is serving as the body’s external expert. Fasting has conducted research into equality and diversity in sports and sexual harassment and abuse in sports and has worked as an expert consultant for a host of major organisations, including the IOC, UNICEF, and the EU. The full composition of the Working Group can be found below:
In March 2021, the IBU released its new Gender Equality Strategy 2021-2026, which you can find below:IBU Gender Equality Strategy 2021-2026
In February 2021, the IBU Executive Board approved the IBU Gender Equality Policy, which you can find below:IBU Gender Equality Policy 2021 (Full version)IBU Gender Equality Policy (Summary)
Dr. Dagmara Gerasimuk - IBU Development Director