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France pushes for more women’s sports coverage

media The French women's national football team Reuters

France celebrates on Saturday its second edition of ‘24 hours of Women’s Sport. Supported by most major media distributors, including RFI, the concept was founded by the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA) with the aim of better representing women in sports across a range of French media channels.

All participants have agreed to place women’s sports - including basketball, football, volleyball, rugby – at the forefront of their programmes to show their commitment to gender equality.

“It’s about bringing together all the media and inviting them to broadcast more women’s sport,” said French secretary of state for women’s rights Pascale Boistard to RFI. “It’s also to remind sporting federations that the law of August 4th imposes gender parity within their federations.”

Only 15% of sport coverage is devoted to women's sport today.

While that represents an improvement from past figures – 7% in 2012 – Boistard says it’s not enough.

She says it’s not only up to the media networks – advertisers play a role as well and it can also be economically viable for them to sponsor broadcasts of women’s sports.

“If you want to do sport at a very high level, you can, just look at all these great sports women. But if you want to know about these great examples then they have to get airtime,” said Boistard. “It’s up to the media to broadcast, but not exclusively.”

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