Thursday, 2 August 2012

Womens Olympic Equality

Please sign the Avaaz petition for women?s equality at the Olympics: http://goo.gl/9X0KY This petition is focussed on a simple, achievable and symbolic demand: that the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should present the gold medal to the winner of the women?s marathon, not just to the winner of the men?s marathon,? said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation. ?The fact that IOC President presents the gold medal to the winner of the men?s marathon, but not to the winner of the women?s marathon, is symptomatic of widespread discrimination against women, including lesbian athletes, at the London 2012 Olympics. ?Having the women?s marathon gold medal presented by an IOC underling is an insult not only to the winner but to all women athletes. It symbolises that women?s sporting achievements are not accorded the same respect and dignity as men?s. ?By this small gesture, we can send a signal to the IOC that women?s equality is important. The fact that the IOC President presents the gold medal to the winner of the men?s marathon, but not to the winner of the women?s marathon, symbolises the wider, broader inequality of women at the Olympics,? said Mr Tatchell. See below examples of discrimination against women athletes, including lesbian competitors. *Help us get more signatures. Here?s what you can do: * *Tweet this message* #IOC President must present gold medal to winner of women's marathon, not just to winner of men's marathon. SIGN: http://goo.gl/9X0KY *Email & Facebook this message* The President of the International Olympic Committee presents the gold medal to the winner of the men's marathon but not to the winner of the women's marathon. Demand women?s equality. SIGN the Avaaz petition: http://goo.gl/9X0KY This gender discrimination is an affront to women athletes and to all women everywhere. Urge the President of the International Olympic Committee to present the gold medal to the winner of the women's marathon, not just to the winner of the men's marathon. *Summary of discrimination against women (including lesbian women) at the Olympics * Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation. writes: "The Olympic Charter outlaws discrimination in sport but these provisions are being violated with impunity. The IOC does not enforce the Olympic Charter. "Discrimination at London 2012 is being condoned at the highest levels of the IOC, as these examples illustrate. "There are more events for men than for women. This means that men have the opportunity to win more Olympic medals than their female counterparts. "Gender discrimination exists in athletics, canoeing, rowing, wrestling, shooting and boxing. "Some of the additional events for men are based on the sexist assumption that women are the weaker sex. These male-only events include the 50 km walk and the decathlon. "The IOC president will present the gold medal to the winner of the men?s marathon but not to the winner of the women?s marathon, which symbolises to the world that the men?s marathon is deemed more prestigious than the women?s marathon. This is an insult to women everywhere. "The IOC tolerates gender discrimination by competing nations and their National Olympic Committees (NOCs) by not requiring them to comply with the equality provisions of the Olympic Charter. "Saudi Arabia?s government blocks women from participating in sport. Many private women?s gyms have been closed down and girls are banned from taking part in sport at school. "Saudi Arabia?s Olympic committee has ruled that women athletes must shroud their bodies head to toe, regardless of their personal wishes. They have to be accompanied by male guardians at all times. "The Saudis have selected only two token women athletes to compete in the London Olympics. Neither woman actually lives in Saudi Arabia. One was born and raised in the US and has enjoyed sporting opportunities denied to Saudi resident women. No woman who lives in Saudi Arabia is being allowed to compete in the Olympics. "Iran has gender segregation in sport and forces women athletes to cover their entire bodies, even if they do not want to. "Women athletes from Iran are forbidden to have male coaches or to participate in sports that involve physical contact with male sports officials. "In more than 150 countries, lesbian athletes have to hide their sexuality to get selected for their country?s Olympic squad; otherwise they risk not only non-selection but also employment discrimination, police harassment and possibly imprisonment. The same discrimination applies to transgender and inter-sex athletes. "In the absence of laws against homophobic and transphobic discrimination, victimisation and bias against lesbian and transgender athletes is endemic in most competing nations. "Gender marginalisation, discrimination and exclusion in many countries means that women have fewer opportunities to compete at London 2012, regardless of how talented they are. "The IOC?s failure to demand that participating nations comply with the Olympic Charter has resulted in an Olympics that is not a level playing field and is far from equal," said Mr Tatchell

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