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Female beach volleyball athletes no longer have to be dressed in bikinis

Female beach volleyball athletes no longer have to be dressed in bikinis

After the overturning of the hijab ban last month, there has been a new positive development in terms of "dressing codes" in sports. 

Beach Volleyball: the dressing code

Athletes in the event have exclusively worn bikinis since the sport was introduced at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. This meant that female athletes coming from countries with strict traditions in terms of clothing were effectively excluded from the event.

The change of the dressing code
At the London 2012 Olympics, though, women beach volleyball players won't have to wear bikinis. A new rule announced last week says that participants in this summer's beach volleyball competition can wear shorts and sleeved tops. In this way the sport of beach volleyball and the Olympics as a whole become more inclusive and fair.

Human Rights issues

The previous dressing code used to bring forward many human right issues, as the freedom of expression as well as the right to participate in sport were in effect violated. Imposing the "bikini requirement" the IOC seemed to contradict itself as one of the fundamental principles of Olympism, according to Olympic Hapter is that "sport is  human right". Thanks to the new ruling, women coming from conservative backgrounds will no longer see their rights violated, nor themselves excluded from the beach volleybal Olympic competition.
Related article: Olympic Games and human rights

Recent positive developments
As mentioned, this new ruling was not the only positive development in the domain. Muslim women around the world are celebrating after FIFA overturned the hijab ban last month. The ban, which was in place from 2007, had very severe consequences for female players. Wilfried Lemke, the UN secretary general’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, said lifting the ban gave “an equal chance to participate in football, without any barriers and regardless of gender, race, ability, age, culture or religious beliefs.”

In Lebanon, the Cross Cultures Project Association has been promoting football at grassroots level for boys and girls for several years, attracting many girls to the game, including those wearing headscarves. “First we take the football pitch, then we take parliament,” said one young coach from Lebanon.
Related article: International Football Association Board overturns hijab ban


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Article type

News

Author

Vangelis Alexandrakis

Published

Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 23:00

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