Golf venue for Tokyo 2020 grants full membership to women after sexism row

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Tokyo, May 11 (IANS) The Kasumigaseki Country Club for the first time has granted full membership to three women after changing its discriminatory policy, a spokesperson said on Friday.

The club, one of the oldest and most prestigious private clubs in Japan, granted full membership to three women on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the club confirmed to EFE.

The three were the only women who wanted to update the status of their membership, he added.

The club, which has 1,250 members, including 200 women, changed its membership policy in March 2017 following criticism from Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC said that the club’s regulations, which barred women from playing on Sundays, were against the Olympic spirit, which advocates gender equality.

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The club, founded in 1929, changed its regulations to grant full membership to “a person” who has reached a certain age from the earlier clause, which granted membership to “a man” who has reached a certain age.

The club’s spokesperson said that the organisation was not under pressure by the Tokyo 2020 organisers to make the changes to its policy but added that the wake-up call was a good opportunity to review the rules.

The Kasumigaseki Country Club has hosted several international and national championships, including the fifth Canada Cup (the present World Cup of Golf) in 1957, the Japan Open in 1995 and 2006 and Japan Women’s Open in 1999.

–IANS

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