Saudi Arabia won’t allow its female athletes to compete in the Olympics. The International Olympic Committe has a policy not to allow participatory countries to discriminate.
So why hasn’t the IOC banned Saudi Arabia?
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday faced calls to ban Saudi Arabia from London 2012 after the country’s Olympic chief ruled out sending women athletes to the Games.
The Saudi Olympic Committee president Prince Nawaf bin Faisal said he was “not endorsing” female participation in London as part of the official delegation.
Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), said that was unacceptable. Tibballs said: “Saudi Arabia’s current refusal to send sportswomen to the Olympics puts them directly at odds with one of the IOC’s fundamental principles as laid out within the Olympic Charter.
“It reads that ‘any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement’.
“If today’s reports are to be believed, we would expect the IOC to defend the Olympic Charter and exclude Saudi Arabia from IOC membership and the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
The IOC excluded Afghanistan from the Sydney 2000 Olympics due to its discrimination of women under the Taliban regime. “The IOC needs to send a clear message to Saudi Arabia that they will not tolerate continued gender discrimination,” Tibballs added.
In 1964, South Africa was banned from participating in the summer Olympics in Tokyo because of the country’s racist Apartheid government. That ban lasted until 1992, when South Africa’s white-only government passed a referendum that approved the reform process.
I just blogged about how women’s rights around the world are still considered a ‘cultural’ issue and not a political one.
Women, like all human beings, are entitled to full human rights
A major reason that South Africa ever changed its racist government was because the country was condemned by the global community. Gender Apartheid cannot be tolerated and ignored by the rest of the world or it will never stop.
The Women Sports and Fitness Foundation has a petition on Change.org. As of this posting, it only has 32 signatures. Please add your name to the petition now.