A historic Paris 2024: Unprecedented full gender parity. GETTY IMAGES

On 8 March, International Women's Day, the International Olympic Committee's achievement for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games: there will be an equal number of male and female athletes, full gender parity. The Olympic Broadcasting Services will also have gender parity. IOC launched #GenderEqualOlympics.

The IOC's commitment to gender equality has led to a steady increase in the number of female athletes at the Olympic Games year on year. Starting with just 2.2 per cent in Paris 1900, where women competed at the Olympic Games for the first time, it has risen steadily to reach 48 per cent in Tokyo 2020, marking significant progress. 

Paris 1900 made history and 124 years later, Paris 2024 will make history again. There have only been two occasions when women's participation dropped significantly : St. Louis 1904 (0.9% female participation) and Berlin 1936 (8.4%). 

Since then, women in sport have continued to fight and demonstrate their value and efforts in every discipline until this year's parity. IOC President Thomas Bach said: "We are about to celebrate one of the most important moments in the history of women's participation in the Olympic Games and in sport in general".

The evolution of women's participation in the Olympic Games, edition by edition. OLYMPICS.COM
The evolution of women's participation in the Olympic Games, edition by edition. OLYMPICS.COM

"We look forward to Paris 2024, where we will see the results of the enormous efforts of the Olympic Movement and its pioneering women. This is our contribution to a more gender equal world," added Bach. 

In cooperation with International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the IOC has spearheaded various initiatives to ensure equal opportunities for both female and male athletes to participate in the Olympic Games. 

The sports programme for Paris is more gender balanced, with 28 out of 32 sports achieving full gender parity. The distribution of medals is also equitable, with 152 women's events, 157 men's events and 20 mixed-gender events 

Olympic Broadcasting Services wants to "set an example for the whole industry," according to CEO Yiannis Exarchos. They plan to hire around 35 female commentators out of a total of 92 positions by the time of the Games, an 80% increase from Tokyo 2020 and a 200% from Rio 2016. 

Two-thirds of the 42 OBS Broadcast Venue Managers will also be women and the IBC Broadcast Operations Centre will have a 50/50 gender split.Olympic broadcasting: More women in key broadcast roles at Paris 2024

Ensuring gender-balanced coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is one of the objectives of Olympic Broadcasting Services. Full story: https://t.co/yIWrdY521N#GenderEqualOlympics | #IWD2024 pic.twitter.com/R4n2YC7tRH

The IOC has taken significant steps to increase the presence of women at the Olympic Games. From Tokyo 2020, teams are encouraged to select one female and one male athlete to jointly carry the flag together at the Opening Ceremony. All NOCs will also be encouraged to ensure that their delegations include at least one female and one male athlete. 

Also for the first time, the women's marathon will be held the day after the men's event and will conclude the athletics programme on 11 August, coinciding with the Closing Ceremony. Several IOC-led initiatives are currently underway and will continue to reduce the gender gap for all women. 

Both the IOC and the Olympic Movement remain committed to creating a more gender balanced world through the power of sport. "Our commitment to advancing gender equality does not end in Paris. We will continue to pave the way for women and work with our stakeholders. The IOC will continue to lead and use the power of sport to contribute to a more equal society," concluded Bach.