Crossing the Finish Line of a Discrimination-Free Olympics
Contact: Mike Carver and Katie Ake
Today the Institute for Gulf Affairs released a policy paper recommending that countries which preclude women from international athletic competition be banned or restricted from the 2012 Olympics in London and other forms of international athletic competition.
Currently, only two countries prohibit women from participating in any Olympic competition. These countries are Saudi Arabia, and Brunei, both of which cite “cultural and religious reasons” for excluding women.
The IOC charter states that discrimination based on one’s sex is “incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement”. Two past illustrations of this include IOC’s banning of South Africa in 1964 for its prohibition on interracial competition, a ban that lasted nearly thirty years, and Afghanistan in 2000 for its treatment of women.
Currently, even Iran allows women to enter the Olympics, though only in sports such as shooting since women can perform the sport fully covered.