Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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AIBA remains fully committed to developing the Women’s Boxing
by AIBA/Iryna Mazur
January 16, 2015

(JAN 16)  First, we would like to thank WBAN for your engagement with and passionate advocacy for the development of Women Boxing, in particular with the International Boxing Association (AIBA).We very much value your contribution to and support for Women Boxing.

The issues that you address in your two articles [Part I]  [Part 2] are all extremely important ones for AIBA and key for the sport of boxing as a whole. At the same time, many of the issues that you have raised in your two recent articles are both large and multifaceted – and so resolving them to everyone’s complete satisfaction may take a little bit longer then we would all prefer. For AIBA, however, our priority is to maintain a constant pressure for change and so keep the development of Women Boxing moving forward as fast as possible.

Women Boxing at the Olympic Games

The spirit and values of the Olympic Movement include the principle of equality between men and women. However, as with many fundamental reforms of a large organization, this ultimate goal can only be reached by taking steady steps forward, rather than in one single large leap.

AIBA’s first step was to ensure that Women Boxing was officially included on the Olympic Program. This was successfully achieved by AIBA in August 2009, with the result that a total of 36 Women Boxers were able to make their debut at the London 2012 Olympic Games in three weight categories.

AIBA’s goal is to receive additional weight categories for the Women Boxing Program and to move from 3 to 5 weight categories in 2020. Achieving thiswill also be dependent on the success of the Women Boxing competitions in Rio 2016.

Women Boxing at the Multi-Sports Games

Following the IOC’s decision to include Women Boxing in the Olympic Program, the African Games, Asian Games and Pan American Games also adopted Women Boxing programs with 3 weight categories. Subsequently, Women Boxing also entered the Commonwealth Games for the first time in Glasgow last year and, recently, the European Games 2015 even increased the weight categories in their own program to 5.

Seeding at Jeju 2014 World Championships

Under AIBA guidelines ranking points for seeding in competitions are accrued over a two year rolling period which would usually include two World Championships however there was more than two years between the 2012 and 2014 World Championships which meant that the seeding system could not be properly applied. As the guidelines have now been amended this will not be an issue in 2016 and the Women World Championships in 2016 which is also the Olympic Qualifying Event will use the seeding system.

Women Boxers in Future WSB and APB

AIBA plans to organise first WSB Women Exhibition competitions this year and to officially include two weight categories as from next season. For APB, as soon as the removal of headguards for women is officially implemented, APB Women boxing can be launched soon afterwards. We will announce further developments regarding headguards in Women Boxing shortly.

Women Boxer clothes

Under AIBA rules, Women Boxers have freedom of choice between wearing either skirts or shorts. AIBA has no plans at all to change this rule.

WBAN would like to sincerely thank the AIBA  for taking the time to respond to the issues that we talked about in the previous articles.  If the boxing community would like to email us with their thoughts from what has been published, you can contact us at wban100@aol.com.  [Part I]  [Part 2]

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