Four years after the first male-only Olympic games, women were allowed to compete in the 1900 Olympics.

Out of 997 athletes, the 22 female participants were permitted to compete only in five sports—tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian, and golf—in contrast to the men, who could compete in 19.

Still, it was a remarkable achievement for those 22 pioneering women given the prevailing cultural attitudes toward women in sports around the world at that time.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that this progress has not been uniform across all sports, cultures, or countries.

Countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei had long banned female athletes, only officially permitting them to participate in 2012.

Countries where the cultural rights of women rank lower than men tend to have fewer numbers of female athletes represented at all global competitions, including the Olympics.

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