Australia's Government has called on the country’s sporting organisations to reduce the gap in gender inequality when sending its athletes to major sporting events across the world.
Federal Sports Minister Sussan Ley and Australian Sports Commission (ASC) chairman John Wylie have been forced to write a letter to the 30 top funded sports following discrepancies in the travel arrangements for Australia’s sportsmen and women.
It follows Basketball Australia being heavily criticised at London 2012 after they sent their women’s team n economy class and their male counterparts flew in the luxury of business class.
The women won a bronze medal, while the men were defeated in the quarter-final.
Cricket Australia are another sporting body who have admitted to not treating their male and female athletes equally.
They have issued statement claiming they were “committed” to addressing the discrepancies.
Other sporting bodies reportedly have similar policies in place.
According to the letter sent by Ley and Wylie, the ASC will make “gender-neutral travel policies for senior major championships a condition of investment by the ASC in a sport”.
It could lead to Australia’s sporting organisations being denied funding if they chose not to adhere to the conditions laid down by the ASC.
“The ASC is aware of some sports, notably some sports with very large revenue bases that have in place travel policies which treat elite male and female athletes differently,” the letter read.
“In 2016 we can think of no defensible reason why any sport should practice policies that mean male and female athletes travel in different classes to, or stay in different standard accommodation at, World Championship events (or equivalent).
“Sport plays a huge leadership and exemplar role in Australian life and sports should be telling Australians that anyone good enough to don the green and gold to represent our country is valued equally and will be treated equally.
“While there is still more work to be done, the development of gender neutral travel policies is a small but significant step towards more equitable recognition and reward for elite female athletes and the promotion of female participation in Australian sport.”
Professional Footballers Australia's Kathryn Gill welcomed the move.
"The universal values of sport, which are so celebrated, have not been afforded to Australia's most talented sports women," she said.
"Rather they have consistently been treated as second-class citizens rather than the world class athletes they are."