Zagreb, 1 June 2021 - The project "Women’s Voice in Sport" was presented to the public today during the special ceremony held at the hotel Westin in Zagreb. This Project, which will last until the end of 2022, is jointly organized by the Croatian Olympic Committee, the Agency for Electronic Media, the Office for Gender Equality of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Ombudswoman for Gender Equality and the Croatian Paralympic Committee, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Media and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport.

Initial funds launching this project were secured because of the prestigious IOC’s Award – the Women and Sport Trophy – presented in 2019 to Morana Paliković Gruden, Vice President of the Croatian Olympic Committee and President of the Croatian NOC’s Gender Equality in Sport Commission.

- Based on its experiences and its research, the Croatian Olympic Committee entered the Project with knowledge of the need to educate female athletes and especially sport staff. That is why the Project “Women’s Voice in Sport” has an important task - media literacy of female athletes for media appearances and publications in print, electronic and new media (social networks). In this Project we have gathered all relevant partners who contributed with their ideas on the topic of presence of female athletes in the media and provided funds for their realization. It should be noted that in the total amount of information in electronic and print media, women's sport is underrepresented - said the Vice President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Morana Paliković Gruden.

Member of the Council for Electronic Media Vanja Gavran said that last year the Agency for Electronic Media launched a competition for production of TV and radio videos presenting our Olympians.

- Until today, we have made 10 videos, and by the beginning of the campaign – 15 June – we will complete six more. The Agency, always guided by the logic of responsible business, paid HRK 142,000 for production of the videos and we are very satisfied with the work done. Our working group “Women and Media” that includes, besides me, the Council member Anita Malenica and colleague Marija Lalić, is making great efforts to promote equality between women and men in the media as much as possible and as such we are very well recognized among European media regulators - said Gavran. Director of the Gender Equality Office Helena Štimac Radin said on this occasion that the previous National Gender Equality Policy for the period from 2011 to 2015 contained specific measures related to increasing the proportion of women in the management structures of sports federations and improving models for monitoring statistical indicators on the position of women in sport, while the new National Gender Equality Policy 2021-2027, which is being developed, contains an important segment related to the position of female athletes in the media.

- As part of this Agreement, the Gender Equality Office has undertaken the obligation to participate in the organization of an international conference on the topic of equality of female athletes in all segments of society, especially in the media, and to continue printing publications that will be used in further work by all those engaged in the promotion of gender equality in sport and representation of women's sport in the media - said Štimac Radin.

- One of the issues to which the Gender Equality Ombudswoman pays significant attention is the position of women in sport. Women in sport are in a multiple disadvantaged position characterized by a noticeable underrepresentation at all levels (in management positions, in sports federations, among coaches and sports journalists...), significantly less investment in women's sport and gender differences in rewarding sports results. In addition, one of the biggest obstacles on the path to achieving the gender equality in this field is the invisibility of women's sport in the media. That is why it is necessary to launch the initiatives and implement projects aimed at gradual change of this situation - said, among other things, Gender Equality Ombudsman Višnja Ljubičić.

On behalf of the Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the Director of Directorate for Media and Development of Cultural and Creative Industries at the Ministry Jasna Vaniček-Fila welcomed the attendees.

- We know that this Project has so far been preceded by several others, such as research on stereotypes in advertisements, representation of female athletes in the news, and the project 'For greater visibility of women's sport in electronic media' from 2018 on the basis of which recommendations for better monitoring of women's sport in electronic media were adopted – because research has shown us that percentage of representation of women’s sport in national televisions’ entire sports news program is less than 5% - said, among other things, Vaniček Fila.

The athletes - table tennis player Anđela Mužinić and marathon runner Matea Parlov Koštro - also spoke about their placement at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

- I am looking forward to my third Paralympics, I want to feel that positive anxiety and that I’m alive again. In terms of results, it is very difficult to expect or think about anything. But if we intend to use the COVID-19 as an excuse, then it is better not to perform. Anyone who cares about Tokyo should have gotten the best out of this situation. In this case, we know that we did our best, and later on the time will show what God has in store for us - said Mužinić.

- First of all, I fully support the project “Women’s Voice in Sport” as well as this way of promoting Croatian Olympians going to Tokyo. I look forward to participating at the first Olympics in my career. I am currently in the preparation period where I am collecting a lot of kilometers run every day, and I leave final touch for training camp in the beautiful Livigno. My team and I are very satisfied with the training so far and we expect reaching the top form precisely at the Olympic Games - said Parlov Koštro. In addition to the videos about Angela Mužinić and Matea Parlov Koštro, the videos about gymnast Ana Đerek, discus thrower Marija Tolj, judoka Karla Prodan, athlete Mikela Ristoski, high jumper Ana Šimić, taekwondoka Kristina Tomić, athletic runner Bojana Bjeljac and judoka Barbara Matić were presented as well. All media will broadcast the videos without financial compensation, and it will be possible to see and listen to them from 15 June until the end of the Olympics broadcasting in the programs of many TV and radio stations.

At the end of the ceremony – as a special guest - the member of the International Olympic Committee and former President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar Kitarović also said a couple of words.

- I applaud this laudable project that presents our female athletes. We are aware of how much less women's sport is followed, but this way we are additionally promoting it. The International Olympic Committee also pays great attention to the equality of female and male athletes. We expect almost the same ratio of female and male athletes at these Olympics as well. We also recommend for the national flags at the Opening Ceremony to be carried by one female and one male athlete - said Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, wishing all female and male athletes a lot of success at the upcoming Olympics.

The first part of the Project, the broadcast of videos with Olympic and Paralympic candidates has already begun, while the Croatian Olympic Committee will start media literacy workshops for Olympic candidates on 29 June 2021 in accordance with the Project program.