Equality for women has been a long-fought battle, with different sports being affected to varying degrees. From the exclusion of women to pay equality issues, it is clear that there is still much work to be done when it comes to equality. While some progress has been made over the years, we are still a long way from achieving equality across all areas of sporting activity.
The International Women’s Day events always go a long way to help promote the lack of equality among female athletes, football players, and other sportswomen. The more promotion towards the case the better because it increases awareness and triggers action.
This article will explore the various ways in which inequality manifests itself within different sports and what can be done to address these disparities. We will look at how gender-based discrimination affects athletes both on and off the field, as well as highlight efforts made by organizations and individuals toward achieving fairness for female athletes around the world.
So, let’s learn more.
In terms of exclusion from certain sports, there are several activities that women have only recently been allowed to participate in. It was not until 2018 that the International Olympic Committee recognized Mixed Martial Arts as an official sport, and even now its inclusion in the Games is still highly contested. Some sports such as ice hockey and ski jumping have only been open to men.
The fact is, more needs to be done to ensure that women can compete in all the sports that men do at local, international, and Olympic levels. This is what we should all strive for so that it can become a reality.
In the wake of highly publicised issues surrounding pay equality, some organisations have taken steps to address this disparity. In 2019, the United States Soccer Federation launched a gender equality campaign that included equal pay for both their male and female members. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it is essential to note that many other sports have not followed suit in this regard yet.
We have to recognise that sport is about how many spectators will watch it, but then if we never televise it, how can we know for certain?
In the UK, football is undoubtedly a male-dominated sport and women are still underrepresented in managerial roles at many clubs. This disparity can be seen through the fact that, at the time of this research, only five female managers have ever been employed by Premier League teams since 1992; this is in contrast to over 200 male managers that have held such positions during the same period.
The lack of equality in football has led to the launch of initiatives such as the FA Women’s Super League and The FA Girls Football Centre, both designed to increase female participation in the sport.
The Importance of Equality in Sport
Equality is about inclusion and what happens in other areas of employment should, in the interest of fairness, happen in sport too. A step forward is to allow women to play sports among themselves at a professional level. Then better still, to have mixed matches with all genders competing against each other. Many will compromise for the first option as actually a giant leap forward.
If we are to manage an all-inclusive society, then we do need to address the issues that still exist in women’s sports.
Equality for women in sport still has a long way to go. From exclusion from certain activities to pay equality issues, numerous challenges need to be addressed. It is up to organisations and individuals around the world to continue the fight for equality so that all athletes can be treated fairly regardless of their gender.
With the right support, we can make progress towards a future where equality is seen as the norm and is truly achieved across all areas of sport.