The glass ceiling for women in sport that rugby can't break either

The glass ceiling for women in sport that rugby can't break either

The push of a scrum, the forcefulness of a tackle or the help to the jumpers in a 'touch' are intrinsic issues to the rugby. However, that push, that forcefulness or those aids they have not served in practice to break the glass ceiling at an institutional level with presence of women in the governing bodies of the Federation itself or country clubs.

The details, or rather the absence of details, go unnoticed: if the men's team plays an important game in Madrid and the girls play another that same weekend in the Spanish capital to win the european championshipwho will go to the field with the smallest capacity?

Internationally, things are not getting better either. On February 19, the lionesses had to see in Netherlands At the foot of the field a poster announcing the men's rugby championship in English. As is well.

And it is not that rugby is an isolated case. The 10 federations with the most chips they have a common denominator: on the sign of all the doors with which you access the office of the maximum president only the word president is read.

Football, basketball, golf...

Soccerwith more than one million members, followed by basketball, hunting, Golf and Mountainuntil finished with cycling with nearly 76,000 licenses, they are irrefutable proof that there is a pending issue in Spanish sport that, today, is far from reaching the parity that the political class demanded of itself.

The most startling fact is that of the 65 sports federationsonly two are in the hands of women: rowing, whose president, Asuncion Loriente has just been saved from a motion of censure presented by a rather toxic character, and rescue and first aid, governed by Elizabeth Garcia Sanz.

Politicians were slow to realize that the presence of women in political life was rather testimonial. Little by little they began to be aware that they had to take a swerve to avoid the latent machismo in most institutions.

The designations were made by finger regardless of quotas of proportionality as far as gender issues are concerned. Some isolated appointment for a position of bells, but little more. So it became essential to legislate in favor of a balanced participation between both sexes in political, social or economic life. It was the so-called Organic Law for the Effective Equality of Men and Women, which established a range of how minimum 40% and a maximum of 60% in the presence of candidates of the same sex.

This law was appealed before the Constitutional Court which, once the law had been examined, made it very clear that one could not speak of a “compensatory discrimination” in favor of women. The rapporteur of that sentence, Elisa Perez Veraargued that men and women are formally equal, despite the fact that “it is evident that the latter have always been postponed”.

For this reason, he maintained that the demands of the parity lists did not imply a treatment “pejorative" neither "differentiated” because of the sex of the candidates. The then president of the Constitutional Court, Maria Emilia Casasadmits in conversation with The Newspaper of Spainnewspaper of the same group, Prensa Ibérica, that this newspaper, that having achieved that the law was declared constitutional is "without a doubt" one of the greatest satisfactions that it took after almost twelve years of stay in the High Court.

The Constitution

Casas warns that, in reality, the ruling came to reiterate the statements that the Constitutional Court had been making since 1987“because at that time a very correct interpretation of equality was made, where it was pointed out that the Constitution is not neutral in the face of the problem of gender equality and, at the same time, ordered the public powers to reach the effective and real equality”.

In practice, Casas stresses that the sentence has had a "true" incidence in the advancement of women's rights in areas related to equality and gives as an example the balanced representation between both sexes that exists in the Congress of Deputies and in the Senate.

If an analysis is made of the male-female ratio throughout the different legislatures, "now a much higher presence of women is perceived, around 40%". In the Upper House, at present, there are 106 senators. This figure does not represent a balanced figure with respect to the total number of members of the Senate (265) and the reason for this gap is that the electoral system makes balanced candidacies difficult, because parties and coalitions usually present three candidates, so parity cannot be guaranteed and because, in addition, the voter can give their three votes freely from different candidates.

In the business sphere, the standard recommends quotas for representation in boards of directors, but it does not impose it, as it does in other countries such as France. "Therefore -adds Casas-, this participation of women is greater in the political power than in the economic one and this is one of the glass ceilings that is still in force for women”.

The problem of the very low representation of women in the management bodies of the different sports federations could have an answer if the legislator proposed it. In fact, the rule has already been reformed to make “more affective” that equality in companies through equality plans "and it could influence the aspects where it has not progressed enough".

'zipper law'

Some autonomous communities They have already resolved the issue of parity in their institutions, as the Andalusian Parliament did with the well-known 'zipper law'where the obligation to alternate men and women in the candidacies for regional elections was established, so that all the candidates of one sex occupy the odd positions and those of the other sex the even ones.

Here the magistrates were once again very explicit in their resolution, understanding that by endorsing the constitutionality of the appealed norm, the minority character of the female presence in the field of political representation and achieve within it material equality between men and women.

And it is that they understood that the legal obligation to prepare lists of candidates balancing the sex of its components "does not imply a restriction imposed on citizens in the exercise of the right of passive suffrage”, but the only ones affected by the rule were the parties, federations and coalitions of parties. Hence, they reached the conclusion that the principle of balanced composition of candidates "is based on a universal and natural criterionhow is sex?

Another problem, with no sign of a solution, is that it is quite infrequent for women to present candidacies to preside over a federation, which, in Casas's opinion, is a “big inconvenience”. The former president of the Constitutional Court emphasizes that equality is an objective that is achieved through its practice "and, of course, if they don't show up and there is no rule that requires this, we can reach these results that there are only two women at the head of the sports federations”.

It is not something that happens only in the world of sport. Nor is there a rule that obliges the governmentto the General Council of the Judiciaryto the Congress or to Senate to propose to the King on a parity basis two men and two women in the partial renewals of the Constitutional Court. “There is a circumstance -adds Casas- that only in this last renewal have two men and two women been elected, because in the absence of a norm that required this, before only one woman was chosen and there have even been times when none.

40% minimum

In sports, things are going more slowly, although there will always be subsidies to promote the female presence at an institutional level, at least apparently. Since 2014, the Higher Sports Council established as a condition prior to the granting of any type of financial aid the obligation to female representation in the boards of directors of the federations. It only required a meager percentage of women's presence, which as of this year has risen to, at least 40%.

It will be necessary to see if they really occupy positions of command or if it is only a matter of pretending to be more or less equal in order to manage larger budgets. In fact, it is easy to check the existence of vowels in tasks of Secretary, human Resources and in charge of the sports and women commissions, but in positions of command and responsibility there is hardly any female presence. Of a total of 229 executive positions, only 32 They are occupied by women.

The electoral campaign from two years ago to the last elections to the Spanish Rugby Federation It already hinted at the continuity of men in the presidency. No candidate was presented. the applicant, Juan Carlos Martin, 'Hansen', made public its candidacy made up of 12 people, all of them with a male name. Later they already incorporated a female into the official photo. And that he baptized his campaign with the slogan "Value of rugby".

five directives

The winner of those elections, Alfonso Feijoohas in the current organizational chart of the FER a 18 directorsof which five are women- one of them (Mariola Rus) as vice-president. That is, the female presence does not reach even a third. They do not seem encouraging data in a president who championed the slogan "Responsible Rugby" during his campaign, despite the fact that the number of women's cards is close to 6,000 of the almost 40,000 that there are today.

This is not just happening at the national level. Mary Urtasun, a 35-year-old architect from Navarra, is the only female president of the 16 rugby federations in Spain. Her club and her previous president pushed her to present herself and thus give continuity to a project that was already quite consolidated, “and since I am very salty, I was immediately convinced."

Urtasun, who is still playing as 'piler', explains in conversation with this newspaper that "it is true" that women have been incorporated normally into sports practice "but we need to be present in the management bodies or as trainers or referees”.

The problem is still family reconciliation: "I have seen other colleagues who stop being linked to rugby because they decide to be mothers." It happens, as Urtasun assures, that in the early years women "have no choice" but to take care of their children, because they are quite dependent, "while men have looked for a place to do other activities."

He has been in charge of the company for more than a year and a half. Navarra Rugby Federation and during this start of the season he has had to face an "intense" work due to the large number of meetings he has had to attend and phone calls. Despite everything, she encourages other women to follow in her footsteps because “it is where we can make more difference in terms of goals and strategies when looking at things from a woman's point of view”.

It refers, for example, to trying to give greater visibility to issues related to women's rugby thanks to the good sports results that the girls have had: “Thanks to this, they appear more in the media, so they can search for sponsorships or grantsand thereby make an even bigger media gap”.

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