Will the 2012 Olympics be remembered as having provided a platform for women’s rights and gender equality.

– amongst all the other expectations hope and dreams attached to it? For the first time all competing countries will send female athletes; and women will be able to compete in all events.

As already noted on gendercentric -male synchronized swimmers still cannot compete; and ‘some women’ might be re-classified before or after they win.

And there’s a little whiff of second –classism in the treatment of some women and some women’s events.

As is widely reported the Japanese women athletes flew by Coach rather than Business Class.

And today the first event of the games is women’s football between Great Britain and New Zealand but its taking place not in London but Cardiff (sorry, Cardiff)… & of course before the much-awaited Opening Ceremony which has already achieved the status of myth. I’m sure there are very good scheduling reasons to explain this but could this have happened to men’s football teams? Let’s just hope this treatment doesn’t provoke any unseemly exchanges on the pitch .

On a more purely positive note we learn that Fifa has relaxed its ban on women playing football with their heads covered following similar rulings by the International Weightlifting Federation and other international bodies who have relaxed clothing rules which prevented Muslim women from competing . 

Some people will of course object to women being allowed to wear the hijab, but isn’t it time to acknowledge that Islamic sportswear can be elegant as well as extremely streamlined? Pretty soon they’ll be banned again for unfair advantage!!

But as far as Olympic ‘firsts’ go Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi from Malaysia who will be competing in the 10-meter air rifle event at eight months pregnant has to be a major contender; she is proud owner of the most advanced pregnancy ever to compete and the first ever of a summer Olympics We wish mother & baby the best of luck.

A great deal of sartorial anxiety has also focused on the Women’s Beach Volleyball; will the weather oblige them also to cover? Currently meteorologists seem to suggest that this anxiety is unfounded.