LONDON: Women's rights campaigners called on Wednesday for an end to sex discrimination at the Olympics, urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ensure there are equal numbers of sports and medals for men and women.
Representatives from various European women's groups met in London for a symbolic burial of the Olympic Charter, saying its principles of condoning any form of discrimination and upholding equality of men and women had been decimated.
Annie Sugier, spokeswoman for the International League of Women's Rights, acknowledged progress has been made with all countries to have female athletes on their teams at London for the first time and women boxers making their debut, ending the last all-male sport at the summer Games.
But she said at the London Games, starting Friday and running until August 12, women are competing in 30 fewer events than men and only 132 gold medals are available to women compared to 162 for men.
"It is clear that more needs to be done as there is still gender discrimination at the Olympics," Sugier told Reuters.
"The Olympic Games play a critical role in building a better world and are more than just a sports competition. This is the one place in the world where there are no borders and one law for all and that can lead to change in society."
The demonstrators, uniting under the banner "London 2012: Justice for Women", drafted seven demands to be included in a letter delivered to all IOC members on Wednesday. (Reuters/tw)