Rob Wood

Rob's Sports, Fitness & Science Blog

Women’s Equality at the Olympic Games

April 1st, 2012 · 2 Comments · Olympic Games

1900 Olympic Games PosterI recently wrote about  Women Olympic Games Pioneers in which I discussed some of the early women participants at the Olympics, and the slow move to equality in women’s participation at the Olympic Games. There has been some great moves towards creating the opportunity for women to compete in the same sports as the men, with the inclusion of women’s boxing now completing the set so there are women’s events in all sports on the program. This is a great thing, but the reality is that there are huge barriers for women to even compete in any sport in some countries of the world, let alone the Olympic Games.

Up until now, three Muslim countries have never before sent a female athlete to compete at the Olympics: Qatar, Brunei, and Saudi Arabia. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter clearly promotes equality: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind.” However, the IOC seems to be doing very little to support the women competitors from these countries.

Each of these countries have made comments that suggest there may be sending some female participants to London, but we will have to wait and see. If Qatar are serious about their bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, they need to send a clear message to the IOC, as it seems the IOC is not sending any clear messages back at them.

Related Pages: women at the OlympicsFirst Female Olympic Medalist

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  • Vinny

    Do you think the IOC are really concerned what Qatar do as long as the investment they put in is substantial. What do you think of Fifa decision to hold the world cup there?

  • UPDATE: Thanks to IOC pressure, Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabic all sent female participants to the London 2012 Olympic Games, meaning now every national Olympic committee will have sent women to the Olympic Games.