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The process of inclusion of women in the Olympic Games

Miragaya, Ana Maria ; Dacosta, Lamartine (Dir.) ; Costa, Margaret (Codir.) ; Tavares, Otávio (Codir.) ; Romero, Elaine (Codir.) ; Abreu, Neíse (Codir.)

Thèse de doctorat : IOC Library, 2006.

The aims of this research were: (1) to determine the status of women's participation in early Olympic Games of the modern era, (2) to trace women's participation in the Olympic Games of 1900, 1904 and 1908 and how women became co-opted members of the IOC; (3) to establish who or what caused the absence of women in the Olympic Games and the barriers that prevented women from fully participating in... More

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    Summary
    The aims of this research were: (1) to determine the status of women's participation in early Olympic Games of the modern era, (2) to trace women's participation in the Olympic Games of 1900, 1904 and 1908 and how women became co-opted members of the IOC; (3) to establish who or what caused the absence of women in the Olympic Games and the barriers that prevented women from fully participating in the Olympic Games as athletes and as elected IOC members, especially looking at secondary sources to examine historic origins in Ancient Greece and in the Olympic Games through the ages and their re-establishment, (4) to track women's development as athletes in the Olympic Games and as IOC members through the minutes of the IOC Sessions, the minutes of the Executive Board Meetings and the Olympic Charters, and (5) to organize the information related to the evolution of the participation of women in the Olympic Games. The historical method of research used concentrated on primary sources, particularly the minutes of the IOC found in the archives of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. The results showed that contrary to what had been established by the specialized literature which has mentioned that women were excluded from the 1900 Olympic Games, according to official sources women were invited and recruited to participate in the Paris Olympic Games, participated in 1904 in the Archery National Tournament that took place together with the Saint Louis Olympic Games, were intited to the 1906 Athens Games (not officially recognized by the IOC), and were finally admitted to the 1908 London Games. Although the absence of women in the IOC had been questioned by a member in 1967, women only became IOC members in 1981. The absence of women from the Olympic Games and from the administrative positions in sports bodies has been caused by various cultural constructions of biological origins which have been constantly elaborated and have been embedded in society for centuries and seem to be directly related to power. The minutes of the IOC Session, the minutes of the Executive Board Meetings and the Olympic Charters show the evolution of the participation of women in the Olympic Games and the analysis of these documents demonstrated conclusively that : (i) the discrimination against women prevailed through implicit and explicit forms along the years, and (ii) the IOC developed strategies either to include or exclude women from the Olympic Games successive programs. Summarizing, the central issue of this dissertation is focused on how discrimination works in the internal affairs of the IOC and the conclusions presented in each defined portion of documents critically scrutinize those discrimination mechanisms in terms of historical periods.