Buenos Aires 2018: the gender equality Games

Buenos Aires 2018 will mark the first time that an Olympic event has an equal number of women and men athletes. There will be 1,999 women and 1,999 men competing in the 32 sports between October 6 and 18. The age range is between 15 and 18 years old, and they will live together for more than two weeks in the Youth Olympic Village.

The first summer edition of the Youth Olympic Games outside of Asia – the first were in Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014 – will also be the site for 22 mixed events, a novelty that includes a variety of sports and disciplines such as diving, shooting, golf, cycling and breaking, which will be making its debut at the Games.

In some cases, the mixed team will also combine different countries united under the Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence.

Gender equality will also be an integral component of more than 1,400 educational and cultural activities, in addition to showcase and initiation sports, which will be held in the four Youth Olympic Parks.

There will be events for the general public and for the tens of thousands of students who will participate in a Buenos Aires 2018 programme that brings schoolchildren to the Games.

“The Games will be a place to promote reflection about gender equality through different activities and content linked to sexual education, equal artistic participation of men and women in cultural and artistic activities and participatory activities with a gender perspective”, said Cielo Salviolo, the director of the cultural and educational programme at Buenos Aires 2018.

The athletes will also participate in gender equality seminars during their stay in Buenos Aires.

Since 2014, the Organising Committee’s educational, cultural and sport programme has promoted discussion about gender equality in hundreds of public schools in the Argentine capital, where tens of thousands of students have participated in activities based on the role of women in sport.

This year, 50 workshops in schools and community centres will be carried out, and an educational digital guide about gender and sport will be launched.

“Young people will be the protagonists for the Youth Olympic Games and we consider it fundamental to instil and promote gender equality as a right and as a tool to build a more equal and just society,” added Salviolo.

In August 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Buenos Aires 2018 would be the first Games in history under the concept of gender equality. The decision, which is a milestone for the Olympic Movement and for women’s rights in sport, was taken within the framework of the IOCs’ Agenda 2020, a series of measures that establish the pathway for the future of Olympism.

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