IOC to press Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Brunei

UNITED NATIONS -- The International Olympic Committee says it will be promoting the U.N. goal of equality for women and will be pressing Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei to send female athletes to the 2012 Olympic Games for the first time.

Anita DeFrantz, who heads the international committee's women and sports commission, said there are 205 national Olympic committees and only those three countries have never sent women athletes to the games.

She told a news conference Tuesday that in 1984 only 23 percent of the athletes at the Olympic Games were women, but in 2008 the number of females competing rose to 43 percent.

The IOC was granted observer status at the United Nations in October.