IOC has been working to improve opportunities and image for women, official says

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By Ijeoma Okigbo

Abuja, Sept. 29, 2020 Abhinav Bindra, Member of the Athletes’ Commission of International Olympic Committee (IOC), says the body has been working on providing tools to improve opportunities for and the image of women.

Bindra said this during an online conference organised by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) titled “Racism and Discrimination in Sports’’.

The five-times Olympian, who was one of the speakers at the virtual event, discussed the role of sports in the fight against racism and discrimination and the quest for gender equality.

“The IOC has been working on providing tools to improve the opportunities and image of women not only on and off the field of play, but also in the media.

“Recognising that sports coverage is very influential in shaping norms and stereotypes of women/girls and men/boys, the IOC developed in 2018 a set of guidelines to raise awareness on gender-balanced portrayal.

“The gender-balanced portrayal explains how women and men are presented and described,” he said.

The IOC official also said the core values which sports represents are a catalyst for change with regards to racism and discrimination.

“Sports is not the entire solution. Sports cannot itself change national and international policies. But by standing for the core values of human dignity and mutual respect, it is both an important catalyst and barometer of change.

“By protecting its competitions and all participants and aspirants from discrimination and providing fair opportunities and level-playing fields at all levels, sports fights this fight,” he added.

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