This platform has the ambition to represent a tool for networking people, bodies, and institutions involved in enhancing and protecting women athletes’ rights and, at the same time, to be educational support for increasing awareness and knowledge.

The platform has been tested in Ljubljana (during the V.E.R.A. transnational meeting, December 2023) by an international team of women athletes. collections



Four are the critical topics identified as essential for the well-being of women athletes.

The lack of financial support is one of the first causes of giving up sports practice for women, as they have to earn revenue and cannot always combine the practice of a high-level sport with full-time employment or academic studies.
Access to infrastructure is an essential element for the successful practice of sports.
When assessing the conditions and rights of female athletes, it is crucial to acknowledge medical and technical support as one of the essential elements. Indeed, medical and technical support refers to the specialists involved in ensuring the excellent performance of sportswomen.
Maternity rights is one of the issues that create the most interventions from international and European institutions or international sports federations.

What is the VERA project?

Voice for Equality and Rights of Women Athletes (V.E.R.A.) is a 2-year Erasmus+ project that aims at advocating for women elite athletes’ rights in Europe. The main objectives regard improving representation and support for women athletes’ rights; increasing awareness on the added value that gender equality and diversity can bring to sports; promoting the opportunity to exchange best practices and possible solutions to common challenges; facilitating a mentoring and mutual support between athletes and professionals of organisations that represent and support them.

Who are the partner of the project?

Regarding the best practices at the national level, the contents of this platform regard the information gathered by the project partner mainly in their countries (Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia) but in some,rare cases also in others.
The Italian National Association of Women Athletes, ASSIST, has been actively involved for over 20 years in the defence and protection of women athletes’ rights, and it serves as the project’s coordinator.The consortium gathers other committed partners: Alice Milliat Association, a French association that aims at promoting women’s sports in Europe; Asociación de Jugadoras de Fútbol Sala (AJFSF), the Spanish Association of female futsal players; CRESTA, a European sports law firm; Nogometna zveza Slovenije (NZS), the Slovenian Football Association; Sport Evolution Alliance (SEA), a Portugal association committed to the development of sports practice;the European Association of Sport Employers (EASE), a non-profit association for promoting employers’ representativeness.

What are the contents of the platform?

The project’s initial phase has produced an analysis focusing on the rights of female athletes considered “elite athletes”. So the first challenge has been to identify the criteria for using the definition of “elite”, The second challenge the analysis struggled with has been to investigate the most critical topics for the well-being of women athletes, which have been identified in financial support, social welfare rights, maternity rights, technical and medical support, and access to facilities. Since the great variety of specialties, the research has covered just a few popular sports split by team-sports like football (including futsal), basketball, rugby, handball, and individual disciplines like tennis, cycling, swimming, and athletics.

The research has been conducted into various high-profile institutions, including the International Labour Organization (I.L.O.), European Union (E.U.), and sports regulatory bodies like the Internationa Olympic Committee (I.O.C.), Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), International Basketball Federation (F.I.B.A.), Union Cycliste Internationale (U.C.I.), International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.), and others. The analysis tackled the policies, programs, and initiatives these institutions have carried out to support women’s sports and elite sportswomen.


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