When people think of the Olympics, most people just think of the greatest athletes coming to compete in the biggest compotation stage in the world. Most don’t wonder if the games are “Gender Equal” all we want is to watch the best of the best of the countries of the World to, compete for the ultimate prize and represent their country.
Even allowing females to compete in the games for every country on earth has just came to be, according to the article, “all 204 competing nations have sent male and female athletes to the Games for the first time, with Saudi Arabia the last to do so.” (Jowell) That’s amazing to think since there are some sports that are only for mean and only for women. So with Saudi Arabia just letting woman to compete that means that the country was treating there citizens with equal rights. I know that’s what makes America special however; every other country has sent competitors to the games for years up to this point.
Although the Olympics have gender specific events, however it all depends on the countries; essentially it’s up to the country to which competitors they send to compete in the Olympic Games. It also depends on the size of the country that the athlete lives in, because for example countries such as; “Bhutan, British Virgin Islands, and Timor-Leste all these countries only had 2 athletes in the games. Whereas the host Great Britain had 541 athletes, Italy had 285 and the United States had 530 athletes competing in the games.”2 So even though countries do their best at being an equal opportunity of sending athletes, as you can see depending on the country there just might not be that many opportunities to send both sexes.
There is also the fact that most woman sports don’t get the same support as the men’s sports. Especially if the sport is gender specific and not well known. According to Olympics minister Tessa Jowell Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation reported that, “women’s sport only receives 0.5% of corporate sponsorship and 5% of total media coverage. Last year, the absence of any women from the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year shortlist provoked a nationwide debate.” (Jowell) It’s crazy to think that only 0.5% or corporate sponsorship covered Women’s sports, also that the total of media coverage was only 5%. The reason is that, corporations that had media coverage spent insane amounts of money to get advertisement in the Olympics. According to fooducate, “McDonald’s and Coca Cola each spent $100M to become sponsors of the Olympics”. (Weingartern) That’s $200,000,000 from just two corporations, granted they are the two biggest corporations but out of that two hundred million dollars the women’s sports only receives %0.5 of that or about $1,000,000. That’s just a drop in the bucket of the money available for sponsorship. So maybe that is a reason that the Olympics are still not equal, since everything in the world is run from money, not having an equal amount won’t give those athletes and countries an equal opportunity to send everyone they have to the games; and isn’t that what the Olympics are all about?
SO in conclusion I think the way to make the Olympics and other world competitions “gender equal” we need to start by giving everyone able to compete in the Olympics, the financial opportunity to do so. Maybe by doing this we can have an Olympics that is free of gender inequality. Also the countries need to allow those who are able to compete, be able to and not stop them or discriminate against them, just because of their sex. I know this could be challenge in some of those countries such as Saudi Arabia or other countries that don’t look upon both sexes as equals.
Griffin, Peter. “The Olympics: Still Sexist after All These Years.” Forbes India Magazine. Forbs India, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. http://forbesindia.com/blog/grandstand/the-olympics-still-sexist-after-all-these-years/.
Jowell, Tessa. “Rio Olympics should be gender equal, says Jowell.” Olympics 2012. The Guardian, 10 08 2012. Web. Web. 22 Sept 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/10/rio-olympics-gender-equal>.
Weingartern, Hemi. “The Real Reason McDonald’s and Coke are sponsoring the Olympics.” The Real Reason McDonald’s and Coke are sponsoring the Olympics. Fooducate, 28 07 2012. Web. Web. 25 Sept. 2012. <http://blog.fooducate.com/2012/07/28/the-real-reason-mcdonalds-and-coke-are-sponsoring-the-olympics/>.