World Rugby Address Gender Inequality At The Top

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27 November 2017

World Rugby has announced reform of its Council – its highest decision-making body – with an ambition of at least one-third women's representation from next year. The number of people who may sit on Council may increase from 32 to 49 on the condition that the 17 new representatives are to be women.

The amendment will give the 11 unions and six regional associations, who currently have an additional vote but no additional representative, the right to send an additional representative to Council subject to that person being female. Thus, the existing voting rights will remain unchanged.

Approval to the proposal is the first significant step to accelerate women’s role in rugby on and off the field of play and bring gender-balance to the highest levels of its governance.

The 2017-25 Women’s Plan – also ratified by Council in London last week – shows World Rugby is committed to being a global leader in sport, where women have equal opportunities in all areas, are integrated in strategy, plans and structures and make highly valued contributions to participation, performance, leadership and investment in the global game.

Both the women’s plan and the governance reform proposal were developed under the guidance of the Women’s Advisory Committee, which itself was established following World Rugby’s previous reform of its governance structures in 2015.

“This is a major milestone in the progression and growth of World Rugby and the global game," said Bill Beaumont. "The reform is historic, reflective of

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