The IOC was founded more than a century ago to harness the power of sport at the service of humanity. Traditionally, women were not allowed to participate in the Games, which were exclusively for men. Times have changed, and the IOC has played an important role in establishing a positive trend to enhance women’s participation in sport.

Over the last 30 years, the IOC has been advocating for the participation of women at all levels, encouraging National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs) to enhance the presence of women in sport at all levels.

This section offers a historical timeline of women’s participation in Olympic sport and leadership.

Sport is one of the most powerful platforms for promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC has an important responsibility to take action when it comes to gender equality – a basic human right of profound importance and a Fundamental Principle of the Olympic Charter.

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