Cyprus Mail

Education ministry refutes gender discrimination accusations over volleyball tournament

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The education ministry on Sunday refuted accusations of gender discrimination after allegedly opting to send only the boys’ volleyball champions team to an international tournament and not the girls’ too.

In a written statement, the ministry said that it has yet to decide who will participate at the World Schools Championship in volleyball, taking place in Brazil this year, arguing that such decisions are taken based on budgetary and objective criteria and following consultations with other stakeholders such as sports federations.

It also said that accusations on gender discrimination were baseless.

The statement follows criticism on social media but also organised groups such as student body Psem over the ministry’s intention, they said, to send to the tournament only the boys’ team due to the high cost of sending both teams.

Psem called on the ministry to treat both teams equally and send them both to the tournament.

The education ministry said that it would be best “to let the competent bodies, experts and services do their job, according to the conditions and restrictions in place.”

It also said that in this case, reactions “are not based on credible information or on the whole picture”.

“It should be clear that exerting pressure through public intervention to expand participation in any of the events (and especially in the case of events involving higher costs due to distance or duration) may only limit participation in other events,” the ministry said.

It also said that the same applies as regards participation in the world schools’ volleyball tournament in Brazil, adding that the issue is currently under consideration with consultations still under way while no decisions have been taken yet.

However, it said, the conditions that apply have been made known to everyone concerned from the beginning.

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