Gender Inclusive Language and the Olympic Charter

From the outset until today, women have been under-represented within the Olympic Movement. In 1996, the Olympic Charter was amended to address this concern be enumerating that one of the roles of the IOC is to:

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 (p.16)

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Unfortunately, the IOC still does not use inclusive language in the Olympic Charter. In its 106 pages, the word “women” is mentioned twice, both times in the line quoted above. The Olympic Charter does include a note about the use of gendered language that reads as follows:

In the Olympic Charter, the masculine gender used in relation to any physical person (for example, names such as president, vice-president, chairman, member, leader, official, chef de mission, participant, competitor, athlete, judge, referee, member of a jury, attaché, candidate or personnel, or pronouns such as he, they or them) shall, unless there is a specific provision to the contrary, be understood as including the feminine gender. (p.9)

Given the historical under-representation of women and the IOC’s own claim about its role in supporting the promotion of women, is it problematic that they do not adopt gender inclusive language in the Olympic Charter?

Task: After completing the chapter 7 reading and reviewing the details above regarding the Olympic Charter, do research that informs whether or not the use of gender inclusive language has any consequences or impact on the IOC’s stated role to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport.

Make sure that your answer is informed by additional sources. Some examples could include:

The IOC, including their web-content on the Promotion of Gender Equality in Sport.
Research related to gender inclusive language in sport or other areas.
Research related to inclusive language on topics other than gender in sport or other areas.
Write a short persuasive essay (2 pages or less, double spaced, 12 pt., Times New Roman font) on whether or not the IOC should revise the Olympic Charter to include language that is gender inclusive. Make sure to support your position with reasons. Make sure that those reasons are supported by evidence. Cite at least 2 sources in your essay (not including the course text or the Olympic Charter, although you may want to cite these sources as well) and include bibliographic references (in APA format) at the end of your essay.

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