SWOST: One third of the population admits that gender inequality in Latvia is an unresolved problem

32% of the population consider gender inequality to be an unresolved problem in Latvia. In addition, 41% of respondents indicate that this problem has only been resolved in certain areas. People have identified the provision of equal pay and the reduction of stereotypes about so-called male and female occupations, as well as specific gender roles in everyday life, as the most important areas in which companies should work to improve gender equality.

According to the representatives of the company "Mars", gender inequality has been a topical problem for several years. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Organization (UNO) estimated that it would take more than a century to close the gender gap.

The UNO is now reporting that the pandemic has delayed progress in reducing gender inequality by 25 years. And the impact of this problem is particularly devastating among women.

A recent survey in Latvia found that, according to 32% of the population, gender inequality in Latvia is still an unresolved issue. The largest share of respondents who consider gender inequality to be a topical problem is among the youngest population aged 18-29 (45%). Meanwhile, 41% consider it a solved problem only in certain areas. 15% of respondents indicate that this is a solved problem, but that further work is needed to ensure that it does not recur.

Among respondents who believe that gender inequality is a problem, 22% are men and 8% are women.

The majority of respondents, or almost 40%, indicated that equal pay was one of the areas where employers should pay the most attention to improving gender equality.

By contrast, 26% said that companies need to reduce stereotypes about so-called male and female occupations and the specific gender roles in everyday life. But 12% stressed that organizations need to think more about additional support for new mothers. 10% of respondents agree that companies need an equal gender presence in management positions.

The survey was conducted by Mars in cooperation with the research company Norstat Latvija in March 2021. More than 1,000 respondents aged 18 to 74 took part in the survey throughout Latvia.

WoW Europe Conference 02.07.2021.

How we help children get through the Covid 19 pandemic and how important it is to do sports every day - this is a topic on the agenda in the civilized world. Representatives of 10 countries participating in the "WoW EUROPE" Project (Romania, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia and the Republic of Northern Macedonia) shared their observations and national experiences in the "Health through Sport"workshop an event that took place on Friday, July 2, 2021, from 9:00 o'clock, at the K1 Amphitheater Hall in the UMT Conference Center in Timisoara.

The main topics of discussion were "Physical and motor development in children in digital times", "The impact of the Covid19 pandemic, by reducing physical activity and sports, on the physical condition of children". Romania presented a sensitive subject, through the University Lecturer Doctor Mihaela Varga from the Politehnica University Timisoara: "Obesity, nutrition, physical activity and sports in today's children".

"Through this workshop, we aim to help raise awareness of the benefits and role of both sport and physical activity for children's health and to improve the exchange of good practice between athletes, federations, clubs and institutions in the field of sport and education for children to promote sport among children from the countries of the participating organizations ", says Beatrice Mercado, president of the Junior Sport Association, the initiator of the event.

For all those present, the discussions benefited with a simultaneous Romanian-English translation and were broadcast live on the "WoW EUROPE" Project Facebook page.

Together with the Junior Sport Association, six of the international organizations participating in the project had representatives on the spot. So, in Timisoara, there were personalities from LSIIDP - Board of Directors of Sports Educational Institutions in Latvia (Latvia), VšI Sportuokime kartu (Lithuania), ADCS Carvalhais - Associação Desportiva Cultural e Social de Carvalhais (Portugal), Physical Activity Promotion Agency (Slovenia) ), Club Pitch & Putt Barcelona Teià (Spain) and Turkish Sport for all Federation (Turkey).

Details about the 10 international organizations participating in the "WoW EUROPE" Project, here: https://woweuropeproject.eu/participanti.

The following personalities were present for this event and made statements on behalf of Romania: Beatrice Mercado - President of the Junior Sport Association; Marius Dumitru and Alina David - Managers of the “WoW EUROPE” Project; Ruxandra Adam - reprezentant of the Timis County Council; Marin Popescu - General Inspector at the Timis County School Inspectorate; Prof. Dr. Ing. Liviu Marsavina - Pro-rector of the Politechnica University of Timisoara; Adrian Tal - Executive Director of the Politehnica University Timisoara Sports Club, Loredana Ianculovici - Director of the Timis County Directorate for Sports and Youth.

The event was also attended Constantin Osain - School Inspector specializing in sports, but also many physical education and sports teachers, parents of athletes children, nutritionists, media representatives, athletes, coaches, club presidents - most of them being ambassadors of the "WoW EUROPE" Project, were present at the event.

The event is memorized HERE.

SWOST: Interview with a BMX coach Olafs Lakucs 15.06.2021

My name is Olafs Lakučs. I am a BMX coach of Valmiera BMX club “Talava”. I have been coaching BMX for around fifteen years. But I have been associated with BMX for 30 years, which actually is since the very beginning of BMX in Latvia. Therefore, I dare to claim knowing BMX sports.

The question was whether our sports – BMX, is masculine or not?

I say yes and no. Regarding the sports as such, I would say that both girls and boys can ride equally good. Yet, we must take into consideration boys’ physical abilities and girls’ physical abilities, because the feminine gender by nature is a little bit weaker, which we can observe by, for example, speed results. Yet, it has been proven that girls can drive equally as good as boys.

Of course, there is a dominance of men. BMX is not 50/50 males/females. Approximately 10 female out of 100 BMX riders is the general number of BMX athletes.

Currently, there is a strong tendency from both the International Cycling Federation and national Cycling Federation to put a significant impact on gender balance. And one of visible proofs of that is minus one male athlete in the Olympic Games starting from these Games, which is added to female representatives, thus making the balance of 50/50% representatives of both genders.

My personal opinion is that this is normal. Currently the whole communion and the roles in it changes.

I was asked a question – what is easier to work with? I should say definitely with the boys. Girls have their own “fleas”, which is why it is hard to understand them sometimes.

- Do you consider your organization a gender balance friendly?

Yes. Yes, I believe we definitely are. It is most visible within the last two years when women are equalized with men completely and definitively. And it is not only in our club or country, but in the whole world. First, women ride the same traces. Second, they are paid equal amount of money. Women are all subject to the same rules as men. Therefore, I say yes – I don’t see that any woman would be discriminated in our BMX sport.

Watch and listen to the interview in the original language HERE.

Find related articles on gender balance and equality as well as on sport without stereotypes in the SWOST project's official webpage HERE.

BMX: Promotion of the Project Ambassadors 05.07.2021.

Since LSIIDP is closely participating with the Valmiera Children's Sport School, where one of the sports implemented is BMX, LSIIDP has good opportunities to appoint more than one or two BMX riders as the project's "Training to Win" ambassadors. The project team consequently consists of the LSIIDP Project Manager Sandija Zaļupe and three members of LSIIDP, who all are employees of Valmiera Children's Sport School: director of the sport school Līga Dzene, BMX coach Olafs Lakučs and another BMX coach Ivo Lakučs. Both coaches appointed the most appropriate BMX riders for the promotion of the project "Training to Win":
  • Līva Lizete Glāzere, a 17-year young BMX female Elite rider,
  • Edvards Glāzers, a 20-year young BMX male Elite rider,
  • Mikus Dāvids Strazdiņš, a 22-year young BMX male Elite rider,
  • Kristens Krīgers, a 24-year young BMX male Elite rider.
Their visit cards may be found HERE.

Hopefully all of the project ambassadors along with another 2-3 Latvian BMX riders will be able to participate in the Battery Test of the project that will be held in Portugal just after the European Cup 2021 of BMX.

Battery Test is the second Intellectual Output of the project that will be mainly managed by three project organizations: the main project partner BMX School Zaragoza from Spain, another serious organization of Spin Fundacion Universidad San Jorge and the Portuguese Federation.

The BMX Battery Test consists of three parts:
  • Part I: Physiological and biomechanical profile of BMX Rider.
    • Force/velocity profile.
    • Physiological profile.
    • Stabilometry assessment.
    • Biomechanics profile.
  • Part II: Psychosocial variables for BMX performance.
    • Motivation, stress control, mental skills, cohesion, resilience.
    • Riders environment analysis: life balance.
  • Part III: Coaching skills
    • Leadership.
    • Problem solving skills (applied to sport situations).
    • Athlete-Coach-Family relation management.
    • Professional development skills.

WoW Europe 5th Activity 21.05.2021.

The last activity of the WOW EUROPE project was held in the stadium with 9 - 10 year old children with their sports teacher Ginta Teko, who was awarded as the best sports teacher of this school-year. The famous athlete invited to this activity was the Olympian, kayaker, Kristaps Zaļupe, who participated in all "Today I'm Your Teacher of Sport" activities. The activity took place on a rather cold day for the end of May, but it did not keep all of the participants from having a fun and something physically valuable in a creative atmosphere. This time one of the activities demanded not only the physical strength and speed skills in relays of athletic, but also their minds. Why? How? You may see and judge it yourself from the video of the day that testifies all the previously written. Since the rules at the end of May still stated that only up to 20 people are allowed to gather outside, then including the shooter of the activity, we almost fulfilled the maximum amount of the allowed - 19 people all together.

We had much fun and, to say the truth, our team was also growing and becoming more skillful from each new activity and this one was the favourite one of LSIIDP team. Our team has learned a lot from the "Today I'm Your Teacher of Sport" activities, which will be possible for the sport teachers to use in their daily lessons, especially to have a fresh fire in childrens' hearts and a new desire to do physical activities.

LSIIDP team says great thanks to the WOW EUROPE team and the possibility that forced us to seek ways to implement the activites in the tough restriction period that took almost all the school-year 2020/2021.

Watch the video of the day HERE.