The third online survey of the AETF Women's Committee.
  10th Feb 2024

The AETF Women Committee is very grateful for the replies received on their third online survey.

The Women Committee wanted to know what is keeping girls and women from the dojang, or why they are not participating at events. What barriers are still existing today, refraining women from classes, courses, competitions and so on.

In a survey, that was launched mid-January, having a deadline of February 1st, 52 girls and women took the time to help the Committee. A big part of Europe was represented, with answers being sent from Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Ukraine, Austria, Spain, Norway, Romania, Finland, France, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Scotland, England and Wales.

Several age groups were represented: younger than 14, 14 to 18, 18 up to 30, 31 tot 50 and over 50.

Barriers are keeping women away from participation at the regular classes, from participation at courses and seminars, from being a competitor, coach or referee at championships, from being an instructor.

It’s sad to read still today, in 2024, we are facing problems and taboos that shouldn’t be problems and taboos, keeping women in a position where they don’t feel comfortable enough to do what they want to do. The AETF Women Committee will, with the results in mind, advise the Board and work on several topics over the upcoming months.

But, what are these barriers?

Some women are struggling with the changes their body faces after childbirth, others are hesitating to step into the dojang because of the fact their instructor is making them feel uncomfortable during their monthly period.

Some women hesitate competing, as there are only few competitions with separate age categories for competitors over 30, over 40 or over 50 years old. Some struggle with mental issues and eating disorders, due to the weight loss because of the weight categories in sparring.

Some girls and women are facing harassment, in all of its facets (bullying, grooming, discrimination), in the dojang, coming from the instructor of some of the (male) members. Yes, some ‘remarks’ can also be very painful….

For many women it’s still a difficult balance to combine Taekwon-Do with their family and work. Having a lack of self-confidence… it seems to be a mainly female problem.

None of the above issues, nor other ‘problems’, should be a barrier for anyone, to refrain from doing what someone wants to do.

The AETF Women Committee will work on several of these topics, with the help of all of you, to make sure girls and women are able to take part in classes or seminars, are able to compete or be a referee, to do gradings and so on, if that’s what they want.

Ladies, let nobody keep you away from your dreams and goals!