JOC to conduct survey on sexism, diversity in sports

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) is planning to conduct a nationwide survey on sexism and diversity in sports after the Tokyo Games, the results of which will be used to create educational activities among other measures, according to sources.

The survey will include questions to understand the actual situation and establish what efforts are needed to eliminate sexism and promote diversity. After the Games, it will be distributed to members of the JOC, the Japanese Paralympic Committee and domestic sports organizations.

By the end of March next year, a group comprising female athletes and experts will be established to examine the results of the survey and compile guidelines for athletes and coaches, and activities to raise awareness are expected to begin in the following autumn.

According to the sources, ideas put forward so far include the creation of a textbook to raise awareness among children at an early age and holding online exchanges with athletes from countries and regions where same-sex marriage is permitted.

The survey will be conducted regularly and its scope will be expanded to include sports organizations in each prefecture.

The Japanese sports world faced criticism in February over the handling of remarks widely interpreted as sexist by the former president of the Tokyo Games organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, who resigned over the gaffe.

With the awareness of such issues gaining momentum in society, the JOC wants the planned survey and educational activities to become part of the legacy of the Games.

Chukyo University Prof. and Tokyo Games executive board member Kyoko Raita, who specializes in Olympic history and human rights, said, “If there was change in the sports world, which is prone to gender bias, it would have a significant impact in society. Sports could play a major role.”