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Women and Girls in Sport Strategy showing results with improved media coverage

Ministers’ release: 28 July 2023

Beehive media release.

2022 was another year of positive change in visibility of women in sport with a further jump in the coverage of female athletes and teams in news media.

Sport NZ has published the third annual report from the Sport NZ-Isentia study of gender balance in sports news coverage, covering the 2022 period.

“Women’s sport now accounts for 28 percent of all sports news coverage - up from 21 percent in 2021 and 15 percent in 2020. This represents another huge improvement in 12 months, with coverage up across all major media outlets,” Grant Robertson said.

“It also shows the Government’s Women and Girls in Sport Strategy is having a real impact, with women’s sport only making up 11 percent of coverage before the strategy was put in place up to 28 percent now – that’s a 155 percent improvement.

“Hosting three world cups in New Zealand has been a real boost for women’s sport. The crowds and the hype for the FIFA Women’s World Cup right now is incredible to be part of as a country.

“This event and the other world cups will leave a lasting legacy women’s sport. I am hopeful that coverage of women’s sport will continue to increase to a point where it is equal with that of men’s sport,” Grant Robertson said.

The Media and Gender study is one of the most significant of its kind globally. Sharing the data with media, sports and others helps relevant organisations track progress and identify opportunities for improvement.

Visibility of females in sports news coverage has risen from 19 percent to 26 percent. The visibility of women in the top three sports that generate the most overall coverage (Rugby, Cricket and Football) has grown significantly, with the three codes averaging 21 percent in 2022 – compared to 11 percent in 2021.

“There is clearly a lot more work to do to get equity of coverage. We will keep working to support this. It is important to note that New Zealand does compare well internationally, with our coverage now seven times the global average of 4 percent for media coverage of women’s sport (2018 UNESCO report). 

“We thank media organisations for their ongoing work in supporting women's sport. It's fantastic to see a positive trend continuing, one that showcases the sporting achievements of our wāhine,” Grant Robertson said.  


Updated on 31st July 2023