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Participation in sport and recreation by culturally and linguistically diverse women

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In June 2006, the Australian Government Office for Women, Department of Families and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) engaged the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of New South Wales to research how culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women participate in sport and recreation, and the factors that may limit their full involvement in this area of Australian social and cultural life. The project is designed to inform the development of policies and programs to effectively support the inclusion of CALD women in sport and recreation activities.

To this end, the report firstly outlines available statistical data pertaining to CALD women’s participation in Australia. This shows that a lower proportion of women born in countries other than Australia or the main English speaking countries participated in organised sport than others (ABS, 2005). However, when unorganised sport is included, participation rates increase (ABS, 2003). The data also shows that women from North Africa and the Middle East were significantly less likely to participate in sport of physical activity than their male counterparts, and less likely to be involved than women born elsewhere. Those not proficient in English were also less likely to participate than others and their male counterparts.

Secondly, the data outlines Australian and international research about the factors that facilitate and constrain CALD women’s participation in different cultural and socio-geographic contexts. This highlights socio-cultural constraints (referring to racial and cultural based constraints and discomfort in certain social settings); access constraints (eg lack of recreation provision, information, skills and transport); affective constraints (ie lack of appeal and meaningfulness of certain activities); physiological constraints (ie physical problems and age); resources constraints (eg time and money); and interpersonal constraints (eg nobody to participate with).

Thirdly, the report outlines existing policies and programs designed to promote the inclusion of CALD women in sport and recreation. While few programs or policies have been rigorously evaluated, approaches have focused on providing information and promoting activities, developing sport and recreations organisations, establishing peer support and peer education initiatives, establishing activities, training and competitions for CALD women, and, at a higher level, setting standards and establishing strategic frameworks.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [  Research about women in sport has been criticised for developing relatively slowly, and for its overwhelming focus on those born in Australia or Britain (Taylor and Toohey, 1997). Indeed, researchers have recently identified tendencies for gender and ethnicity to be analysed separately, leaving gaps in knowledge about the nexus between gender and ethnicity in sport and recreation (Taylor, 2004). This report aims to inform debate about this nexus by focusing on a group of Australian women who are under-represented in sport and recreation: CALD women.  ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>

In the text: Cryer (year)


APA reference for this document


Reference : Cortis, N. Sawrikar, P. Muir, K. (2007). Participation in sport and recreation by culturally and linguistically diverse women. Sydney: SPRC


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Download this file (Participation_in_Sport_by_CALD.pdf)Participation_in_Sport_by_CALD.pdfCortis, N. Sawrikar, P. Muir, K. (2007). Participation in sport and recreation by culturally and linguistically diverse women. Sydney: SPRC
Last Updated on Saturday, 15 August 2009 10:38  

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