MHSAA Gender Equity Policy

PREAMBLE
Numerous studies/reports have indicated a need for MHSAA to develop a gender equity policy. We are one of a number of similar organizations (sport, education, and government) who have recognized the need for such a policy.

The most effective way to achieve equity in school sport is to work in partnership. There are areas where MHSAA has jurisdiction and therefore the ability to directly implement strategies. There are, however, areas where MHSAA has influence but not jurisdiction (e.g.. School Board Policies). In these situations it is important to work with partners such as School Boards to develop and implement strategies that will achieve the goals and objectives of MHSAA's gender
equity policy. Gender equity in school sport is the belief and practice which ensure fair access for student-athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators to participate, compete and lead. Equity does not necessarily mean that all persons must be treated exactly the same. People may need to be treated differently in order to be treated fairly.

VISION
Women and girls will enjoy a full and equitable range of opportunities for participation, officiating, competition and leadership in school sport activities.

GOAL
Through the implementation of this policy, it is our intent to raise awareness, educate, and change attitudes and behaviours which increase and improve the opportunities for girls and women in school sport.

POLICY STATEMENTS
MHSAA is committed to gender equity as highlighted in the guiding principles of the Association's Game Plan.
MHSAA is committed to educating and providing support to its members through the development and distribution of a gender equity policy.
MHSAA believes that the elimination of barriers to participation will contribute to theachievement of gender equity.
MHSAA believes that gender equity should serve as a guiding principle for developing,updating or delivering Association programs, policies and projects.

PROCEDURES

A. CHAMPIONSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Statement: MHSAA will strive to provide equitable championship opportunities for male and female student-athletes.

Actions: MHSAA will continue to do needs assessment through the Championship Review Committee. Gender equity will act as a guideline for determining the composition of the Championship Calendar. MHSAA will continue to strive to recognize and promote girls and boys Championships in an equitable manner.

B. BOARD AND COMMITTEE STRUCTURE

Statement: MHSAA will strive to have equitable gender representation on all committees.

Actions: MHSAA will encourage Zones to make a conscious effort to involve more women in the leadership of Association committees and activities. MHSAA will continually monitor committee representation.

C. STUDENT - ATHLETE PARTICIPATION

Statement: MHSAA will continue to provide equitable opportunities for students in cocurricular activities.

Action: MHSAA encourages student - athletes to participate on same-sex teams where both the boys program and the girls program are equitable in terms of coaching, funding, practice time, facility access etc.

D. SPONSORSHIP

Statement: Major MHSAA - generated corporate sponsors (i.e. those which commit to particular sport) shall be requested to apportion their monies equally between male and female championships.

Action: The above statement shall be part of the MHSAA Business Plan.

E. EQUITY PARTNERSHIPS

Statement: MHSAA will continue to interact with organizations that include the promotion of gender equity in their mandate (e.g. Canadian Association for the
Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity).

Action: MHSAA will continue to share mailing lists and resources with such organizations, and will continue to work on projects that promote gender equity. MHSAA will search out new partnerships with organizations that support gender equity initiatives.

F. EDUCATION

Statement: MHSAA will continue to raise awareness and educate about the issue of gender equity.

Actions: MHSAA will distribute and promote its gender equity policy. MHSAA will continue to distribute gender equity information through its publications.

G. RESEARCH, EVALUATIONS, AND MONITORING

Statement: MHSAA will continue to monitor and evaluate all policies, programs and initiatives to ensure their adherence to gender equity.

Actions: MHSAA will continue to gather research material and relevant data to use in this monitoring and evaluating process.