The Equity Commission Oceania (ECO), formerly the Women and Sport Commission (WASO), was established by the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) in April 2004 to promote and coordinate the involvement of women in sport across the Oceania region.
In February 2019 the WASO evolved into the ECO with a wider brief to use sport and its values as a catalyst for gender equity and diversity.
The Commission works with the vision to see ‘women and girls empowered through sport’. Its four-pronged mission is to strengthen the capacity, capability and equality of women and girls in sport through effective leadership and management; education and training; promotion of gender equity and diversity; and communication, advocacy and promotion.
It provides leadership training and sponsorship for identified women to take on roles of influence and decision-making responsibilities within sport and or the NOCs; supports NOC initiatives; strengthens the entrenchment of the IOC Gender Equality Report Recommendations in the NOCs constitutions and policies; encourages NOCs to empower their Women and Sport Commission with a financially supported action plan as a tool to promoting greater participation of girls and women through sport. Financial support is critical given the challenges faced by the small island states of ONOC.
The Commission also actions the IOC Prevention of Harassment and Abuse Guidelines within NOCs and NFs; engages men in the conversation of contributing to the vision of ‘women and girls empowered through sport’; and enables elite female athletes to improve performance as a pathway to Olympic qualification.
From a strategic perspective, recognising the importance of evidence-based lobby, the Commission promotes the establishment of national databases of women in leadership positions (NOC Board and National Federations) in each NOC, which is updated on a regular basis, and shares information and successful initiatives with the continental community and the IOC.
Terms of Reference
The Commission has a Terms of reference outlining its core functions and responsibilities.