From the battle field to the board room: the place of gender in sex-integrated sport

Donna de Haan, Lucy Dumbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Most of the advancements in women’s sport and gender research in sport management, over the last half a century can be characterized as liberal feminism. Supporters of liberalism present the pragmatic point that it is essential for females to have access to participation in order to have access to power. However, whilst the current practice of redistributive liberal feminism may increase the number of female participants, it does little to challenge or alter dominant gendered discourses and power structures within sport organizations. In this chapter we aim to explore the evolution of female participation in the sex-integrated sport of equestrian. Using the frameworks of liberal, socialist and postructuralist feminism we discuss the place of gender in the context of participation and governance. We conclude that whilst sex-integrated sport provides an opportunity to reframe the place of gender in sport, dominant discourses prevail. For example, whilst there is evidence of inclusive forms of masculinity these are still constructed in opposition to a devalued femininity. In particular we highlight the constructs of patriarchy, class, elitism and capitalism which in particular appear to influence access to the higher echelons of sport governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Business of Women's Sport
EditorsAndrea Guerin, Nancy Lough
Publication statusIn preparation - 17 Dec 2017


  • women
  • gender
  • sport
  • governance
  • equality


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