Due to the candidature of Paris to host the Olympic Games in 2024, the Ligue du Droit International des femmes, the Coordination Française pour le Lobby Européen des Femmes and the Movement « Laissez les femmes iraniennes entrer dans leurs stades » (meaning "Let Iranian women enter their stadiums") launched a campaign against sexual apartheid in sport targeting Iran and Saudi Arabia.
These countries are the only ones in the world who deny women’s access to stadiums. Saudi Arabia even prohibits sport for girls in state schools and does not provide sport infrastructures for women. In addition, Iran and Saudi Arabia impose an uniform which covers women’s entire body, and ban gender mixity and “non-Islamic” disciplines.
Such practices are contrary to the universal principles supported by the Olympic Charter, that prohibits all types of discrimination, including gender approach, and imposes political and religious neutrality in Olympic venues.
These practices must be strongly condemned just as racial apartheid was. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) excluded South Africa from Olympics during 30 years (1962-1992) because of racial apartheid, and the United Nations approved, in 1985, an “international convention against apartheid in sport". More recently, the IOC supported the suspension of Kuwait due to Government’s interference in sports affairs.
The organization promoters of the campaign against sexual apartheid in sport sent some emails to national and international political and sport bodies, as well as to Paris 2024 candidature, accompanied by a booklet illustrating women’s situation in sport in Iran and Saudi Arabia (attached to this article).
The campaign against sexual apartheid in sport has been launched in two-steps: on April 14, showing the slogan "Paris 2024 against sexual apartheid, boycott Saudi Arabia and Iran" in the Eiffel Tower; on May 15, while the Evaluation Commission of the IOC was visiting Paris, a meeting of solidary associations took place in front of the headquarters of the French Olympic Committee, followed by an encounter with the leaders of this organism.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.