Gold Coast 2018 makes commitment to gender equality

The 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will be staged in Australia’s Gold Coast region, will host an equal number of medal events for men and women, in what organisers are claiming will mark a first for a major multi-sport event.

Seven additional women’s events and categories across weightlifting, boxing and cycling have been added to the Gold Coast 2018 programme, with the additions taking the total number of medal events at the Games to a record-breaking 275.

Three new women’s track cycling events – keirin, team sprint and team pursuit – have been added to the programme, along with three more boxing events in the 45-48kg, 54-57kg and +75kg categories. A +90kg weightlifting event has also been added.

The additions will result in a 50/50 split of male and female events at Gold Coast 2018, something Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin feels is representative of the event’s development.

“We’ve come a long way since the first Games in 1930, when women competed in just seven (or 12 per cent of) medal events,” Martin said. “The last edition of the Games in Glasgow created the highest-ever percentage of medal events for women (48.5 per cent), placing true gender equality in medal opportunities at the Games clearly within reach.

“This is a significant step towards the realisation of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s vision for gender equality. I’m so proud that the CGF, GOLDOC (the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation), the Australian Commonwealth Games Association and our International Federation colleagues have worked together to close the gender gap in time for Gold Coast 2018 – and present an equal number of medal moments for men and women for the first time ever at a major Games.”

The announcement was made at the CGF’s Sports Summit. At the Summit, Commonwealth Games associations were urged to work with national governments and sporting bodies to increase the actual and proportional participation of women athletes and leaders at the Games and across Commonwealth sport.

GOLDOC chairman Peter Beattie added: “This initiative supports the CGF’s vision for greater gender equality and I am confident that the precedent we establish for 2018 will augur well for future multi-sport events to emulate.”