Press Release: Gender responsive budgeting in sport can help achieve fair play for women and girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Sarajevo, 9 September 2018 – Across Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) women still run a distant second to their male counterparts when it comes to equal opportunities in sport, a new analysis released by the UN agency for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) reveals. The analysis points to low female representation in decision-making roles and the unequal distribution of public funds as key concerns, recommending that gender-responsive budgeting, among other measures, be introduced to help develop women’s sport in the country.

"More women in decision-making roles and more equitable distribution of public funds in the sports sector are essential to develop women's sport in Bosnia and Herzegovina," says David Saunders, UN Women Representative in BiH. “This matters because sport is key to support women's and girls confidence, empowerment and their development, central tenets of Sustainable Development and the Global Agenda 2030,” he explains.

The analysis shows that women make up only twelve percent of those serving on the national Olympic Committee and sports federations’ governing bodies. Meanwhile, over the past three years at the state level, officials have consistently allocated less than 10 percent of the total sports club budget to women’s clubs. This means that of the total 3,723,000 KM available for sports clubs in that time, only 113,200 KM has been earmarked for women’s clubs.

"Fair play and merit based success is central to sports. For women and girls to succeed and excel, fair public funding that is distributed in a more equal and efficient manner is the least the government can do," David commented. “Objective oriented gender-responsive budgeting is an important strategy that helps government invest against what it is seeking to achieve, in this case enabling them to improve availability of women's sport in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added.

The analysis is timely for policymakers as they consider new legal amendments to the national Law on Sports. Currently, the law is in-line with the Gender Equality Law, with provisions that prohibit gender discrimination and guarantee equal access and participation in sports regardless of gender, and also requires the equal representation of men and women on the Sports Council of BiH. The analysis also strongly recommends introducing sex-disaggregated data to enable systematic monitoring to prove improved investments going forward.