Golf Australia urges clubs to embrace gender equality
WOMEN and girls will have a greater focus in golf following the launch of Golf Australia's "Guidelines for the promotion of equal opportunity for women and girls in golf".
Produced in conjunction with the Australian Human Rights Commission, the publication aims to reduced discrimination while promoting equal opportunity.
Kate Jenkins, sex discrimination commissioner at the commission, said the publication offered a practical guide for golf clubs.
"The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomes this opportunity to partner with Golf Australia on the development of these guidelines," Ms Jenkins said.
"They provide information on the operation of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and practical guidance on how golf clubs can promote equal opportunity for women and girls.
"With its use of a unique handicap system, golf is particularly well placed to be an inclusive game for people of all genders, ages and abilities. A real opportunity exists to increase the participation rates for women and girls within golf.
"The guidelines provide an opportunity for golf clubs around Australia to revisit their policies and practices to ensure compliance with the Act, and to address these issues.
"The guidelines are particularly timely given the current momentum in relation to the participation of women in sport."
The publication provides guidance for clubs to ensure memberships are gender neutral, provide open access to the course at all times for both genders, maximise female participation and facilitate the inclusion of women in governance arrangements.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt was pleased the sport could actively address gender equality.
"I would like to express GA's sincere appreciation to the Australian Human Rights Commission for agreeing to produce this publication for the game of golf," he said.
"To this point there has been a clear gap in the guidance we have been able to make available to clubs on two significant issues that relate to equal opportunity for women and girls.
"Firstly, the consistency of various golf operational practices with the federal sex discrimination law, which has been in force since 1984, and, secondly, what it is that clubs can do to implement policies to promote equal opportunity for women and girls in golf.
"We believe this document will go a long way towards filling this space."