The Women and Sport Timeline was developed during Dr Jordan Matthews’ doctoral research at the University of Chichester. His supervisors advised him to compile a small list of major events to allow a greater understanding of key moments for women and sport activism. As his data collection continued, the Timeline grew and grew. In 2015, Jordan was successful in applying for a Researcher Development Award from the University. Some of this funding enabled Acroweb to turn this data into the digital Timeline.
As of June 2021, there are over 1,300 individual entries from close to 150 countries, nearly 60 sports and ten forms of advocacy.
The Timeline features important examples of women’s participation across a range of sport as well as the origins, formations and development of: sport organisations; women's sport organisations; women's physical education organisations; women and sport advocacy organisations/associations/working groups; women and sport committees/commissions/steering groups; female sport journalism/media/magazines; and, the hosting of congresses/conferences/seminars/workshops/forums/meetings related to women and sport. These events are significant because they often contributed to activism for women and sport.
Moreover, the Timeline takes account of significant global and national non-sport events (e.g. World Wars) and significant global and national non-sport laws/acts/declarations (e.g. United Nations Conventions; national sex discrimination acts). Sport should not be understood in a vacuum. Wider societal impacts directly influence the development of sport. As sport has grown in prominence, it has affected wider society in a variety of ways too. The impact on and by women in sport has been instrumental in broader global developments.
Anita White Foundation (AWF)
Launched in 2011 at the University of Chichester, the AWF educates, empowers and invests in female leaders and scholars in sport, preserves heritage of the women and sport movement, conducts and facilitates impactful research and champions gender equity in sport leadership. You can read more about the AWF via its website. The majority of entries in the Timeline originate from the AWF Archive.
Dr Jordan Matthews
Jordan joined the University of Chichester in September 2010 on a doctoral studentship, became a Research Officer for Women and Sport in September 2013, and a Senior Lecturer in September 2015. He is the executive office of the AWF and chair of the local organising group for the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy (WSLA). As part of an international research team, Jordan presented a keynote presentation at the 6th and 7th World Conferences on Women and Sport (Helsinki, Finland, 2014; Gaborone, Botswana, 2018). He was also invited speaker at the Africa Women and Sport Conference in 2016 (Botswana) and has published in international peer-reviewed journals on the topics of women and sport advocacy and women and sport leadership.
The Timeline is supplemented with information from academic texts, published reports, items from media outlets, and information shared amongst women and sport networks. A copy of the academic references can be sent upon request.
To learn more about the icons used in the Timeline, please see this icon explanation.