Winter Olympics: women’s long race to parity

The proportion of women at the Winter Olympic Games reached 40% in 2010, after a slow but consistent increase over time, rising from only 4% in 1924 to over 25% in 1992 . The sharpest rise was noticed in the 1990s, when female athletes started to finally gain approval to compete in traditionally male sports, such as biathlon or ice hockey.

In 2018, the percentage of women taking part in the Games is 43%.

As more events were opened to women, most countries sent more female athletes to the Olympics.

Some, though, didn’t follow the trend. Three nations, Brunei, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, banned women from competing altogether until the 2012 Summer Games in London, and have yet to send a female athlete to the Winter Olympics.

Even in disciplines where female athletes have achieved equal participation, many of their events have different durations and distances, stereotyping women as weaker and less skilled than men.

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