Bosnia Daily: Gender Equality and Discrimination Ban Should Be Part of the Law on Sports, Says Rights Watchdog

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Source: Bosnia Daily, September 16, 2015

The House of Representatives of the state-level Parliament will discuss today draft amendments to the Law on Sports in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The amendments were introduced in the parliamentary procedure by the House member Maja Gasal-Vrazalica. In the course of last year, lawmaker Gasal-Vrazalica worked with the civil society organizations that focus on gender equality, fight against discrimination and minority rights.
The amendments, drafted in cooperation with Sarajevo Open Center and Gasal-Vrazalica, should replace the term “disabled persons”, seen as discriminatory, with the term “persons with disabilities” in the entire law. In line with the BiH law on discrimination ban and BiH Law on gender equality, discrimination ban should be included in the entire law on sports.

Equal access to sports, regardless of race, ethnicity, social status, religious, political or any other belief, disability, health status, age, sex and gender, sexual orientation and gender identity should become one of the basic principles of sports. Another basic principle of sports should be the ban of hate speech and intolerance based on nationality and ethnicity, skin color, religious, political or any other belief, disability, sex and gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, language or any other personal trait. Gender equality and equal access to sport should be introduced in the strategy for the sport development. According to the amendments, the council of sports – a state-level body for the development of sports – can be formed only if there is a minimum of 40% representation of both genders.
Also, gender-based financing regulated by the law should become a legal obligation of the BiH ministry of civil affairs. Sarajevo Open Center said they hoped that the draft amendments will get support of the representatives of all parties in the parliament “When it comes to gender equality and
fight against discrimination and hate speech in sports, we hope that this will be a step forward,” the organization said.