Fairness in sports governance: a Sex Matters webinar

Fairness in sports governance: a Sex Matters webinar

Our director of advocacy, Helen Joyce, talked to Olympian Sharron Davies and campaigner Fiona McAnena on 28th June 2023 about the work they and others have been doing to reverse unfair policies that allow male athletes into female sporting events on the basis of self-declared “gender identity”. This webinar was in part a celebration of Sharron’s latest book, Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport, which came out six days before.

Watch the recording

For other webinars, see our YouTube channel

About the speakers

Sharron Davies has been one of the UK’s best-known and most popular female athletes since she burst onto the scene as a 13-year-old Olympian in 1976. In 1980 she took a silver medal at the Moscow Olympics, finishing just behind Petra Schneider of East Germany, who has since admitted that her performance was heavily drug-enhanced. Twice voted British Press Sportswoman of the Year, Sharron’s international career as a swimmer spanned three decades, included numerous major titles and medals, and 200 British records. 

Sharron has written several books, including an autobiography, Against the Tide. Her most recent book, Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport, written with Times sports journalist Craig Lord, comes out on 22nd June, published by Swift Press

Fiona McAnena has worked with Fair Play For Women since 2019. The campaign group was the first to bring the issue of males in women’s prisons to the attention of mainstream media outlets, in 2017. Fiona leads FPFW’s sport campaign, working closely with athletes and former athletes, including Sharron Davies and Mara Yamauchi, and academics such as Dr Emma Hilton, Cathy Devine and Jon Pike. She and others at FPFW have met with dozens of UK and international sports federations and pressed them to centre women in their female category.

Helen Joyce

Helen Joyce is a journalist and author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, recently reissued under the new title Trans: Gender Identity and the New Battle for Women’s Rights. The book was an Amazon top ten bestseller, and Times of London and Spectator book of the year. She was a staff journalist at The Economist between 2005 and 2022, holding several senior positions, including International editor, Finance editor and Britain editor. She is director of advocacy for Sex Matters. Her newsletter can be found at thehelenjoyce.com.

Find out more

Watch the talk by Dr Emma Hilton that Fiona McAnena mentioned during the webinar:

or read the transcript of the video.

For updates, articles and publications, see our section Where sex matters… Sport.

Missed the webinar?

To make sure you hear about future webinars, join our mailing list. For other webinars, see our YouTube channel

Make a donation

Our webinars are free of charge, but you might like to consider making a donation towards our costs.