Louise Martin claims the CGF are setting the pace for gender equality in sport ©Getty Images

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin claims the organisation is setting the pace for equal gender representation in sport.

Speaking on International Women's Day, Martin reflected that the CGF had taken strides to improve equality in terms of the number of medal events, as well as by boosting the number of female technical officials and coaches.

"International Women's Day is the right time to reflect on how far we have come with gender equality and how far we still have to go to ensure real balance and fairness in both sport and society," Martin said.

"The Commonwealth Sports Movement is proud to be setting the pace for equal gender representation and opportunity in sport, by ensuring that an equal number of medals will be up for grabs at Gold Coast 2018 for women and men.

"With significant steps forward like this, we believe our unwavering commitment to gender equality is a core value that differentiates the Commonwealth Games from any other international sports movement.

"Indeed, it is our committed work in areas such as gender equality that make the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Sports Movement more relevant than ever before."

Gold Coast 2018 next month will be the first Games with an equal number of medal events for men and women, with 133 each, along with nine mixed events.

It follows the addition of seven additional women's event categories to the sport programme.

The CGF state their strategy, launched at their 2016 General Assembly in Edmonton, is setting the benchmark for gender equality standards in international sport.

As well as a parity in medal events, the CGF said the international federations for basketball, hockey and swimming have confirmed at least 50 per cent of their technical officials overseeing the action will be women.

"As a Movement, we are proud to be leading the way in international sport for gender equality," said David Grevemberg, the CGF chief executive.

"I think we all agree we need to do more to redress the imbalances for women and girls in sport, leadership and society.

"I am delighted that our committed partners at FIBA, FIH and FINA have joined the CGF to lead the way in sport and ensure a level playing field for women technical officials at Gold Coast 2018.

"It is also pleasing to see so many other sports make such positive strides to allow more women than ever to preside over sports officiating and judging at the Games."

CGF chief executive David Grevemberg praised federations for the rise in female technical officials at Gold Coast 2018 ©Getty Images
CGF chief executive David Grevemberg praised federations for the rise in female technical officials at Gold Coast 2018 ©Getty Images

Rugby sevens boasts the largest officials increase after the percentage rose from five per cent at Glasgow 2014 to 33 per cent for Gold Coast 2018.

Rhythmic gymnastics have chosen 100 per cent female technical officials.

Weightlifting boasts 43 per cent, triathlon and lawn bowls both have 42 per cent, and badminton 41 per cent.

The number of men officiating in diving competitions has risen from 28 per cent to 41 per cent and netball has shown an increase from 21 to 28 per cent.

A Women's Coaching Internship Programme is also set to take place, allowing Commonwealth Games Associations, in partnership with one of their national sports organisations, to integrate an aspiring female coach into their delegation for the Games.

As part of the programme, the CGF have reserved 20 quota places and will provide travel grants to allow the selected coaches to participate.

It is hoped the initiative will build women's coaching capacity across the Commonwealth, which would also boost athletes' development in the future.