Gender Equity Wrestling was founded by Elham Heidari, an Iranian-Canadian National Wrestling Referee and a freelance journalist in Canada, co-founded by Maryam Brown on the premise that all women should be afforded not only equal but more specific opportunities to participate in wrestling. Taking account of different cultural and religious beliefs, the GENEQ.W organization aims to facilitate and encourage the inclusion of women in the sport of wrestling with an emphasis on less-empowered and marginalized groups.
We are committed to:
Taking account of different cultural and religious beliefs, the GENEQ.W organization aims to facilitate and encourage the inclusion of women in the sport of wrestling with an emphasis on less-empowered and marginalized groups. The GENEQ.W strives to address the gender imbalance by approaching it from a cultural vantage point. Therefore, our ventures revolve around utilization of cultural means such as mass media and pop culture as well as engaging with policy-making bodies to push for greater gender equality in the sport of wrestling.
What are the pains?
Female athletes encounter different barriers to participate in sports. While all women athletes in general suffer from ongoing universal gender norms and dynamics there are certain groups of women who have to deal with different level of issues such as cultural and religious barriers that inhibit the participation of many women in sports including wrestling. We aim to solve that because we believe in “Freedom of Inclusion”.
Therefore, Gender Equity in Wrestling is not only dedicated to increase the equal visibility of women wrestlers in the world but also to creating culturally/ religiously-appropriate solutions to enable all women to wrestle.
What are our solutions?
Creating Culturally/Religiously-Appropriate Wrestling activewears
The implementation of our mission is of importance not only at the level of universal barriers of women’s wrestling but also at the level of local problems. One of the barriers to participation in the sport of wrestling is the dress code worn by wrestlers. There are still major groups of women whose religious beliefs or social norms do not let them to wear the current outfit of wrestling. Gender Equity in Wrestling is working to engage these groups in wrestling by providing them with the opportunity to wearing their appropriate outfit. Our first project — LONGLET— will enable more women have an opportunity to wrestle and feel empowered while honouring their beliefs and values.
Wrestling Podium Radio
To embark on the duty of equal visibility of female wrestling we allocated a vocal space for wrestling in general and for women of wrestling in particular. Wrestling Podium Radio (Former Radio Medusa) is a subset of Gender Equity in Wrestling dedicated to cover women and men’s Olympic wrestling. In our bi-weekly radio show we are covering wrestling events and interviewing athletes, officials, and commentators who rarely make it to the headlines. Our bi-weekly show aims to give agency and voice to wrestling community especially to those coming from marginalized groups in the sport of wrestling.
Impartial Journalism to Cover Men and Women Wrestling Events
The role of social media in raising awareness toward the importance of gender equity is significant. We believe the attendance of our members in national and international tournaments will help to expand the equal coverage of men and women’s wrestling which is one of the main objectives of IOC toward gender equity in sports.