WSI and IAPESGW Statement in response to Sports and Rights Alliance article, ‘IOC heeds calls to embed rights’ as appearing in website

As major international organizations for women in sport and physical education, we express our deep
concern on the recent article “IOC heeds calls to embed rights” published by Sport and Rights Alliance
( and on June 7, 2022

We are in complete agreement that human rights issues need to be addressed across all persons, but
gender-based issues on human rights were absent in the article implying they are no longer a matter of
concern. Social justice for all persons must include mention of issues specific to girls and women. These
issues cannot be merged/submerged into other human rights challenges.

As a consortium of women in sport organizations, we also echo Mr. Eli Wolff’s statement in the article
“Persons with disabilities are a critically affected group in sport and in society and are protected and
recognized by the United Nations and specifically in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities. Persons with disabilities are more than 15 percent of the global population and must be
recognized in the human rights strategies and all equality and nondiscrimination policies of the
International Olympic Committee.” However, it must not be forgotten that girls and women with
disabilities, representing 7.5 percent of the global population, frequently face more precarious issues
than those of their male counterparts.
Additionally, girls and women with disabilities, lesbians and transgender females, Asian Pacific females
and indigenous girls and women are much more prone to be victims of violence and exclusion than their
male counterparts.

This joint statement by WSI and IAPESGW, expresses our deep concerns on the failure to address gender
specific issues for girls and women in sport in the recent article. We are calling for sport for
development (S4D) professionals, as well as the IOC, to include girls and women as one of the critical
populations (i.e., particularly at-risk populations) within all emerging Human Right Strategic
Frameworks. Girls and women in sport and other marginalized social groups (e.g., disability, race,
ethnicity, religion, and language) are confronted with layers of oppression often referred to as
intersectionality. The gender-based issues should not be silently embedded into other issues. These are
far from ‘settled’ issues and need to be addressed clearly and separately by the sport for development
community as well as the elite sport ecosystem.

Carole A. Oglesby, PhD, PhD, S4D professional
Diane Huffman, President WomenSport International
Rosa Diketmuller, President IAPESGW

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