European & International News

"Gender Equality remains a challenge at the Olympics", Ms. Bachelet says.

[Brussels, 22 August 2012] On 13 August 2012, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN Women Executive Director has published an article in El Pais claiming that, although more gender equality have been achieved at the London Olympic Games compared to previous editions, gender inequalities have been still present. To her view, gender inequality is not only a women’s issue but a matter linked to human values and to the spirit and ideals of the Games. Urgent action shall be adopted to end the discriminatory practices.

In her article, Ms. Bachelet reports a series of discriminatory and sexist practices that came up during the Olympics and that have to be tackled, as for example: gender stereotypes regarding clothes, sex discrimination on flight class fares in the trip of several country delegations, the gender pay gap, the press coverage and different treatment, the level of private funding, etc.

UN Women Executive Director concludes that performance of women athletes and the excellent coverage made by some journalists have served to raise awareness on the issue of gender equality. She also states in her article that the participation of women in sport is a powerful tool for women’s empowerment. In this sense, Ms. Bachelet considers that the participation of Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani, the first Saudi women at the Olympics, means a victory for the whole Saudi Arabia and expresses her agreement on the idea that it can help to increase women participation in other disciplines.

“It is time for women on play in equal conditions”, Bachelet concludes. Therefore UN women is collaborating with the Olympic International Committee to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment over the world. The EWL is pleased to hear about this collaboration and hopes that it will lead to concrete measures and actions for the next Olympic Games, as well as at national level through the commitment of the National Olympic Committees.

The article can be found here (in Spanish)

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