Standing up for gender equity
Canada appreciates the progress that the ICF has made in promoting gender equity in sprint and slalom, and in particular the growing presence of women's canoe on world championship programs.
However, Canada is extremely disappointed with the proposal to hold the Olympic program unchanged in 2016. This is in conflict with the ICF's Equity Charter, distributed at the 2012 Olympic Games; and indeed with the ICF slogan, "Always Moving Forward." The Equity Charter commits the ICF to increase women's events in sprint and slalom on the 2016 program, and to achieve "50/50" – full gender equity – on the Olympic program in 2020.
To achieve these goals will require some very difficult decisions. We applaud the efforts of the ICF to lobby for an additional women's C-1 event in slalom. However, it is clear that the IOC cannot solve our larger gender equity problem. There is no easy way out; delaying the decision is not an answer, and will not satisfy the demands of the IOC, the media, or the public. We strongly urge the Board, as our elected leaders, to take on these difficult challenges; and as a first step, to submit a program proposal for 2016 that includes women's canoe for slalom and sprint.
Here is the overview of the ICF Women’s Commission Congress in St Petersburg, Russia from the International Canoe Federation's perspective: