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Harriet Harman MP, Labour’s Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, will call for an inquiry into women’s sport, looking at media coverage, sponsorship and prize money.

Speaking at a roundtable on women and sport to be held in Parliament on Tuesday, Harman will call on the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to set up the inquiry.

Women’s sport has been in the spotlight following the success of female athletes at the Olympics, but sportswomen are missing out. That has to change.

Even though 36% of GB medals won at the 2012 Olympics and 47% at the Paralympics came from women:

∙       Women’s sport only receives 0.5% of total sports sponsorship in the UK

∙       Only 4% of sports coverage in national and local newspapers is dedicated to women’s sport, and

∙       There is a major gap in prize money: Wigan Athletic, winners of the men’s FA Cup final, won £1.8m in prize money – Arsenal, who won the women’s FA Cup final, won £5000.

Harriet Harman called for the inquiry as part of a five point plan for women’s sport:

∙       Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee should launch an inquiry into women’s sport, including media coverage, sponsorship and prize money

∙       Men-only sports clubs should be banned, through changes to the Equality

∙       Sports that receive public money should have targets for getting women and girls playing sport

∙       There should be targets for sports governing bodies to have women on their boards – just one in five top positions on boards are taken by women

∙       There should be a proper strategy for increasing participation among school-age girls.

Harriet Harman MP, Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, said:

“Women’s sport is no longer a minority interest. We were all inspired by Team GB’s female athletes and the excitement of Wimbledon is as much about the women as is it the men.

“Sportswomen train just as hard as men and compete just as seriously, yet their events get less media coverage, they get less prize money and the sponsorship deals are woeful.

“It’s time the media, governing bodies, sponsors and policy makers worked together to tackle sexism in sport.

“Our female athletes do us proud and they deserve equality.”

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