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IOC, IAAF Promoting Gender Equality

International Olympic Committee’s HQ in Lausanne, SwitzerlandInternational Olympic Committee’s HQ in Lausanne, Switzerland
Bach: “We are certain that through the implementation of the 25 IOC Gender Equality Recommendations, we as the Olympic Movement–athletes, officials, commissions, federations and executives-can take real steps to enact effective change together”

The International Olympic Committee is to implement 25 recommendations from its Gender Equality Review Project that aims to promote non-discrimination and greater participation by women across all aspects of sports, it said on Thursday.

The project, endorsed by the IOC executive board last month, covers areas including sports, portrayal, funding, governance and human resources, and aims to create a roadmap to advance gender equality within and beyond the Olympic movement, Reuters reported.

The release of the IOC’s recommendations coincides with the International Women’s Day.

“We are certain that through the implementation of the 25 IOC Gender Equality Recommendations, we as the Olympic Movement–athletes, officials, commissions, federations and executives-can take real steps to enact effective change together,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.

“It is not just the right thing to do. It is in the interest of us all—the fans, the families and every girl and woman who has been able to fully realize her dreams through athletic participation. As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC has an important responsibility to take action when it comes to gender equality—a basic human right of profound importance and a fundamental principle of the Olympic Charter,” Bach added.

The IOC said a more detailed report would follow later this month.

 IAAF Reforms

The International Association of Athletics Federations is to push for equal gender representation across all areas of its governance, the organization’s president Sebastian Coe said on Thursday.

As part of reforms adopted by the IAAF Congress in 2016, the ruling body has written minimum gender targets into its constitution to ensure more women are represented at all levels in the running of the sport, Reuters reported.

IAAF will have equal representation on its council by 2027, with two of the four vice president positions being filled by women.

The two members on the council in 2019 will be Athletes’ Commission Chair Inaki Gomez of Canada and deputy chair Valerie Adams of New Zealand.

“We have parity in pay, parity in play but not parity in positions,” Coe said in a statement on International Women’s Day, March 9.

“Being able to reflect off the field of play what is widely heralded as one of the most diverse and culturally attuned sport on the field of play is critical to remaining relevant to all fans but affirmative action is the only way we will shift the dial,” he added.

To ensure strong eligible candidates for future IAAF elections, the Gender Leadership Taskforce, chaired by council member Stephanie Hightower, is working with the women’s committee.

“Setting targets is important but evidence shows that targets must be supported by education and development programs that bring more women in all areas of the sport,” Hightower said. “This needs a regional focus as the barriers to entry for women are as different as the countries they come from.”

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