PETALING JAYA: Women shuttlers received a tremendous boost when the Badminton World Federation (BWF) decided to award equal prize money for the men and women winners in next year’s Super Series circuit.
The decision to give the men and women equal treatment was agreed during the BWF’s council meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
BWF deputy president Datuk Punch Gunalan said that benefits for the badminton players were the main issue in several decisions made by the council in the one-week meeting.
“It was high time that the women were given due recognition. We have a lot of women participation and we want to put them on an equal footing with the men,” said Gunalan.
“We are looking at doing this as soon as possible next year.
“There will be a slight change in the distribution of the prize money to ensure that men and women get the same amount.”
Gunalan said that BWF had already given emphasis for the women by separating the Uber Cup and Thomas Cup in 2010.
“We want the women to have their own tournament. In 2010, the Uber Cup will be held at a different place to give it prominence.”
The council also agreed to establish an athletes’ commission with one of their members given the right to vote for the very first time.
“The council have agreed on this. Now, this proposal has to be endorsed during the annual general meeting because it involves changes in our constitution,” he said.
At the council meeting, the BWF also agreed to name London as the hosts for the 2011 World Championships.
In a bid to strengthen their administration arm, BWF will recruit three key senior persons for the post of secretary general, commercial director and director of development.
The council have also agreed to call for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in early 2008.