Olympic Gender Inequality in London 2012: Women Still Stride Behind

August 9th, 2012 Posted by General No Comment yet

Olympic Gender Inequality

It is obvious that women still get discriminated against in many areas in the world, including many of the most developed nations. However, I’m actually shock to know that gender inequity still stares in your eyes glaringly under the Olympic spot light!

I’m not just taking about the female athletes wearing hijab on the track and field in the Olympics. Granted, taking into the consideration their starting point, their attendence itself is already a leap. I’m refering to Australia and Japan. Seriously? In Australia? Where the Prime Minister’s first name is Julia?

The current world champion, the Japanese female football team flew premium economy while their less successful male counter flew business. The Japanese Football Associate (JFA) has suggested that its women footballer may get an upgrade on their way home. “May” is not good enough, JFA! There is an online petition on change.org for JFA to change their discriminating treatment towards its female players. Support it here!

And do you know that there are 5 men’s Olympic canoe events but none for women?  A female canoeist, Samantha Rippington, the current British champion in canoeing, has launched a legal challenge last month to the Olympics organiser for a good reason for the exclusion. Would there be?

When I first read the Straits Time article on July 21st, “Fury Over Second-Class Trip”, I could not believe that this disparate treatment is right in the open. And that the chirvalous Australian male basket ballers let that happened to their female counterparts! (Ok, I should stop being sarcastic here). Not to forget that the Australian men basket ball team (ranked 9th) has not gotten an olympic medal before while their female counterpart has won 3 silver and 1 bronze and is currently ranked 2nd in the world.

The disparate treatment is also mirrored in Australian soccer and cricket team. And the poor excuse given by the Football Federation Australia that “The Socceroos tend to be scattered all over the world and need to be flown into various locations on short time turnrounds…” Yes, the last time I check, you do not fly faster when you are seated in Business class.

Cricket Australia’s excuse was that “the men’s team generated a high percentage of the revenue that is then plunged back into the game to develop women’s cricket.” Obviously, the “plunge-back” was not enough.

If there were so many “unjust” events happening in the open, guess what could be done in the dark? I do not call myself a feminist but hey, it is 2012! Women were first allowed to compete in Olympics in 1896, 116 years ago. It’s about time the stride towards gender equality be taken with more Olympic gusto! Olympic gender inequality persists.  Note that one of the key missions of the International Olympic Council is to “Encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women.” I cheer to that!

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