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1900 For the first time, women participated in the Games in Paris, France. Twenty-two women (2.2 per cent) out of a total of 997 athletes competed in five sports: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian and golf.
1904 Archery became open to women’s participation.
1908 Skating and tennis* became open to women’s participation.
1912 Aquatic events became open to women’s participation.
1928 Athletics and gymnastics became open to women’s participation. Women’s participation in the Olympic Games went up to nearly 10 per cent. For more information click here.
1936 Skiing became open to women’s participation.
1948 Canoe-Kayak became open to women’s participation.
1952 Equestrian became open to women’s participation.
1960 At the Olympic Winter Games, over 20 per cent of the participants were women.
1964 Volleyball and luge became open to women’s participation.
1976 Rowing, basketball and handball became open to women’s participation.
1980 Hockey became open to women’s participation.
1981 Ms Flor Isava-Fonseca and Ms Pirjo Haeggman were the first women to be co-opted as IOC Members.
1984 Shooting and cycling became open to women’s participation.
1988 Tennis*, table tennis and sailing became open to women’s participation.
1990 Ms Flor Isava Fonseca was the first woman to be elected on to the IOC Executive Board.
1991 A historic decision was made by the IOC: Any new sport seeking to be included on the Olympic programme had to include women’s events.
1992 Badminton, judo and biathlon became open to women’s participation.
1995 The IOC established a Women and Sport Working Group to advise the Executive Board on suitable policies to be implemented in the field of gender equality.
1996 The 1st IOC World Conference on Women and Sport took place in Lausanne, Switzerland. Several recommendations were made including “that the IFs and the NOCs create special committees or working groups composed of at least 10 per cent women to design and implement a plan of action with a view to promoting women in sport”. For more information click here.

The Olympic Charter was amended to include, for the first time in history, an explicit reference to the need for work in this area.

Football and softball became open to women’s participation.
1997 Ms Anita L. DeFrantz was elected as IOC Vice-President, the first woman to occupy this position.
1998 Curling and ice hockey became open to women’s participation.
2000 During the 2nd IOC World Conference on Women in Sport, the following resolution was adopted: “The Olympic Movement must reserve at least 20 per cent of decision-making positions for women within their structures by the end of 2005.For more information click here.

Introduction of the IOC Women and Sport Awards to promote the advancement of women in sport. To see the full list of the winners, click here.

Weightlifting, modern pentathlon, taekwondo and triathlon became open to women’s participation.
2002 Bobsleigh became open to women’s participation.
2004 Wrestling became open to women’s participation.

The 3rd IOC World Conference on Women and Sport, which was held in Marrakech, Morocco, reaffirmed the targets established in 1996 by the IOC, IFs and NOCs to have at least 20 per cent women on their executive boards and legislative bodies by 2005 and to consider the period beyond. For more information click here.

Ms Gunilla Lindberg was elected IOC Vice-President.

The IOC Women and Sport Working Group became a fully-fledged Commission.
2006 Golf* and rugby become open to women’s participation.
2008 The 4th IOC World Conference on Women and Sport took place by the Dead Sea, in Jordan, and adopted an Action Plan, which underlined the need for well-researched data upon which a strategy could be developed and promoted; and also emphasised that key performance indicators (KPI) should be set, and a mechanism developed to monitor progress. For more information click here.

Ms Nawal El Moutawakel was elected as a Member of the IOC Executive Board.
2009 The XIII Olympic Congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark, issued a recommendation aimed at strengthening the women and sport policy. For more information click here.
2010 Former IOC President, Jacques Rogge appointed Ms Nawal El Moutawakel as Chair of the Coordination Commission for Olympic Games Rio 2016. For more information click here.
2012 The 5th World Conference on Women and Sport took place in Los Angeles, USA, with the following two main recommendations: “The IOC should revisit and review the minimum number of women to be included in leadership roles which it set for its constituents, and set up a mechanism to monitor and ensure that this minimum number is being respected” and “the IOC should establish closer working partnerships with the UN and its agencies, especially UN Women, and share in the work of the UN Committee on the Status of Women in order to foster its own gender equality agenda.For more information click here.

Ms Nawal El Moutawakel was elected IOC Vice-President and was the first woman to chair an IOC Evaluation Commission.

Ms Claudia Bokel was elected Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission (and as a Member of the IOC Executive Board).

Ms Angela Ruggiero was appointed to chair the IOC Coordination Commission for the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 2016.

The IOC signed an MoU with UN Women to advance gender equality and promote women’s empowerment through sport.

Boxing became open to women’s participation.
2013 For the first time, four women became Members of the IOC Executive Board (26.6 per cent of the Board Members).
2014 April: The IOC and the UN signed an MoU to strengthen their collaboration. This partnership includes the promotion of “girl’s and women’s empowerment”.

Women represented 40 per cent of the participants in the Olympic Winter Games.

Female participation in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, set a new record, with 49 per cent of the total.

The adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020 showed the IOC’s ongoing commitment to gender equality in sport. For more information click here.

* Sports which were re-introduced to the Olympic Programme.

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