Professor Emerita and the first rector of NIH Kari Fasting received the prestigious Dorothy Ainsworth Research Award

During the closing ceremonies at the 19th Quadrennial World Congress for the International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (IAPESGW), Kari Fasting was presented the Dorothy Ainsworth Research Award.

A light trophy against a dark, glittering background
Photo: Shutterstock

In her career, Kari Fasting has researched and politically advocated for equal rights for women in sport and equal opportunities for all. She began her research investigating the impact of society on women’s participation in sport, the influence of women in sport organizations, gender roles in mass media, and the development of women’s football.

Portrait of Kari Fasting
Professor Emerita and the first rector of NIH, Kari Fasting. Photo: Magnus Aspelin

This led to national and international research projects on gender equality in sport, often focusing on discrimination and harassment in sport, as well as methods of increasing the participation of women as athletes, leaders, and coaches.

During the past 20 years, her main focus has been on reducing sexual harassment and abuse in sport - for each gender - from peers, coaches, and by-standers. This has been accomplished through work with the Czech Olympic Committee, the Council of Europe, the International Olympic Committee, and in southern Africa in a project run and funded by the Norwegian Olympic, Paralympic and Confederation of Sport (NIF).

“I was surprised to receive this award now. I think it is lovely and an honor to have my work recognized,” said Professor Fasting. “Dorothy Ainsworth was a pioneer in American physical education, particularly in women’s sport and physical education. After her graduation from Smith College in 2016, she taught modern dance and coached the basketball team at her alma mater. This illustrates the breadth, or the interdisciplinarity, which IAPESGW represents and which I personally think is very important in today’s society, where everything gets more and more specialized.”

Rosa Diketmüller, Vice president of IAPESGW, stated that Professor Fasting is regarded as “the [leading] international expert on sexual harassment among female athletes and students.” Her expertise has been sought after by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Council of Europe, The European Union, the Norwegian Olympic, Paralympic and Confederation of Sports (NIF), the Norwegian Armed Forces, and others to help prevent unwanted behavior and reduce harassment. These engagements keep Professor Fasting busy well into retirement.

About the award

The Dorothy Sears Ainsworth Award is awarded for outstanding scholarly work that has furthered the aims of the Association across the fields of Physical Education, Sport, Dance, and Physical Activity for girls and women.”

This year’s virtual congress was organized by Tianjin University of Sport in Tianjin, China from September 8-10, 2021.