Gender and Equality in Sport

by Luke King

“Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world."

Women’s participation in sport has a long history. It is a history marked by division and discrimination but also one filled with major accomplishments by female athletes and important advances for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Madison of the United States of America, the first woman to swim the 100-yard freestyle in one minute at the 1932 Olympics; Maria-Teresade Filippis of Italy, the first woman to compete in a European Grand Prix auto race in 1958; Nawal El Moutawakelof Morocco, the first woman from an Islamic nation to win an Olympic medal for the 400-metre hurdles at the 1984 Olympics; and Tegla Loroupe of Kenya, who in 1994 became the first African woman to win a major marathon.