IWAS Wheelchair Fencing's Gender Equity Commission will develop programmes to increase women's participation in wheelchair fencing ©Getty Images

International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing has launched a new Gender Equity Commission.

It follows on from the election of Christina Massiala as the member for gender equity on the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Executive Committee in late 2020.

Massiala will chair a six-member group, and the Gender Equity Commission will also feature three co-opted positions.

Susan Masciotra of Argentina and American Gary M. Van der Wege will represent the Americas on the panel.

Masciotra is a former wheelchair fencer now involved in promoting the sport in Argentina, while Van der Wege is an international referee and coach.

Hong Kong's Ying Man Law, an international classifier for wheelchair fencing, will represent Asia alongside Russia's Ksenia Ovsyannikova, an active wheelchair fencer and chair of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Promotion Commission.

Mirani Aretusa Ambrosio Fernandes and Britain's Gemma Collis-McCann are the final members, representing Europe.

Fernandes lives in Austria but previously was involved in Brazilian wheelchair fencing including at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and is a member of the International Fencing Federation's Women and Fencing Council.

Collis-McCann is another current athlete and vice-chair of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Athletes' Council.

The co-opted members are Lisa Rosenberger, Daniela Spina and Dominique Hornus-Dragne.

"It is wonderful that we are able to call upon such a committed and experienced group of people to take this important work forward," Massiala said.

"Our role will be to make sure that women and girls are represented equally in all spheres of wheelchair fencing from the piste to the Board room, and place equality of opportunity at the heart of everything we do."

The Gender Equity Commission will advise on issues of gender equity, including strategies targeting the full inclusion of women and girls throughout IWAS Wheelchair Fencing.

Commission members' tasks include developing programmes to increase women's participation in wheelchair fencing and providing equal opportunities for women.