RFESS: Lifesaving women’s licences have increased by 238% in 7 years

Equality is a federative policy that cuts across all activities and is applied on a daily basis.

The number of licences held by women in the different levels of the Royal Spanish Lifesaving Federation increased by 238 per cent in the seven years prior to 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was declared, according to a report on the evolution of real and effective equality between women and men in the federative sphere, which will be published next week.

The Royal Spanish Lifesaving Federation is anticipating some data to be published in the report on the occasion of International Women’s Day from the perspective that equality is a cross-cutting federation policy that marks all activities and is applied on a daily basis.

This preview is also part of the action ‘International Women’s Day’, which aims to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and in which the International Life Saving Federation (ILS) promotes the participation of women in the field of lifesaving, adding to the tags of the action #DrowningPrevention.

From Monday of this week until Sunday March 20, the Royal Spanish Lifesaving Federation will share two daily compositions that follow the line of those proposed by the international cause #IWD2022, with intentions, opinions and reactions about women and lifesaving, presented by people who take part of the management, refereeing, technical and sporting body, as well as professional rescuers.

Specifically, seventeen women and ten men take part in this action as a reflection of the transversal nature of the equality policy in the field of federated Spanish lifesaving, where the work at all levels and, mainly in grassroots sport for the detection of sporting talent as the basis for the future of the national
teams that will represent Spain in international events, has achieved a great growth in the number of sporting licences.

Some data contained in the report that will be released in full next week indicate that during the sport season prior to the start of the pandemic, 2018-2019, 3,149 athletes took part in the Spanish Championships, of which 1,586 were female (50.36 per cent) and 1,563 male (49.64 per cent), while in the federated competition as a whole there were 6,815 participants, with 3,433 male (50.37 per cent) and 3,382 female (49.63 per cent), which came to represent a practical parity.

In the 2011-2020 period, the number of female referee licences processed increased by 98 per cent, while referee men licences stabilised and 106 international level referees were trained, of which 61 were women and 45 men.

Furthermore, in the 2020-2021 sport season, the number of refereeing licences is even, with a total of 342, 172 (50.29%) women and 170 (49.71%) men.

As for the technical staff, the evolution has been significant in the presence in the General Assembly of the Federation, where until 2016 there was no representation and since then there is 12.50 per cent.

In 2004, when Isabel García Sanz became president of the Royal Spanish Lifesaving Federation, there were no women on the Board of Directors, in 2012 there were 27.3 per cent and now 43 per cent.

Senior management responsibilities are evenly distributed, as there are thirteen people, six women and seven men, in the fourteen positions corresponding to the Board of Directors and Area Directions.

Finally, at the international level, there has been a rise from a single executive position in the European Lifesaving Federation (ILSE) and none in the International in 2005 to sixteen elected positions today, held by five men, who hold six of these responsibilities, and five women, who hold the other ten.