By Zoran V
Inequality of women in sport has been around for many years. Dating back to Ancient Greece where women were not allowed to play sport but rather stay at home and take care of the children, cook, and take care of the house cleaning. This changed over time and women were soon given the opportunity to play sports. In todays society, there are still signs of inequality for women, for example – salary, game rules, opportunities, and participation rates to name a few. A BBC Sport study revealed that 30% of sports still continue to reward males more highly than women. Some of these sports include golf, cricket and squash (Katie Gornall, 2014). The biggest deficit seems to be in soccer, where the study revealed an example where a men’s and women’s soccer team received $1.8 million and $5,000, respectively.
There are many different stereotypes surrounding women in sport. Women are often viewed as fragile, feminine, quiet, and attractive (body image). Due to these stereotypes, women are often drawn away from sport. There are other reasons why women can be drawn away from sport such as constraints, body image, lack of self-confidence, and competitiveness. In order to keep women in sports and increase the participation rate, we as a society should include more recreational services that will attract women to participate. These services do not need to be competitive at all, just a form of physical activity that will get women back into sport.
Many sports have different game rules for women compared to men. An example of this would be hockey in which women are not allowed to body check where as men are. The fan base at men’s and women’s games might be different because of this. Some individuals just think that men’s sports are more fun to watch. I personally think women’s hockey is just as fun to watch as the men’s. In an article written by Rick Paulas “Why Women Will Never Beat Men in Sports” has some good arguments to look at. One of which includes the phrase “he/she throws like a girl” which to Rick, makes no sense. He believes that women are just as skilled at sport as men are. There are two distinct roadblocks making it look like that’s not case. The first one is the fact that females are not given as much instructions as males during their adolescence/growing-up-period (Rick Paulas, 2013). The other roadblock is that sports were made for designed for men, to be played by men. As far as we can remember, all sports were created in an era where women were viewed to be in the kitchen preparing food, and taking care of children. Paulas (2013) believes there are currently two categories for sports, male sports and females playing sports designed for women. He strongly disagrees with this notion that society has portrayed about women in sport.
The number of opportunities for women to go further in sport has decreased in my perspective. At a certain point in a woman’s sport career she will not be able to go any further in the sport. Women’s hockey for example, after university hockey there really isn’t a higher league for women to go that they will get paid thousands of dollars to play. Males on the other hand, are able to reach professional levels such as the AHL, and NHL and be getting paid as little as $500,000 in the AHL and over a $1 million in the NHL. Women are playing against women, and men against men, there is no difference and there should not be a difference in pay or level of play.
Katie Gornall, 2014. Women in Sport still facing inequality over prize money.
http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/29786682 (BBC Sport).
Rick Paulas, 2013. Why Women Will Never Beat Men in Sports.