Importance Of Women In Sports
Throughout history and across cultures, it is easy to see that women have been dealt a worse hand than men in various ways. From their roles to their participation in social activities, the traditional norm has had them playing second fiddle.
But like all things, especially on negative aspects such as this, they are set to change and change they have. The world is well on its way to becoming an equitable society where the gender you were born into only matters as much as you want it to -and at a personal level.
Sports is one of the most powerful and impactful global platforms embracing gender equality and forwarding its progress. Gone are the days when women were barred from watching -let alone participating in sporting activities for foolish reasons such as ‘delicate constitutions.’
Men may have higher muscle densities and proportions than women, but that is no excuse to discriminate against them from participating in sports or anything else.
There are many reasons to support the participation of women in sports. All of which have far-reaching effects in both the long and short term. They include, but are not limited to:
Inspiration For Women
The battle for balance has had men holding on to positions of power for most of history. Luckily, women can now also write their names in indelible ink across the walls of history and have their renown reach all corners of the world.
Thanks to the spread and advancement of technology (especially the internet), the connectivity the world enjoys can help inspire women of all ages and origins to reach for greatness in whatever they do. The inspiration and motivation to do more do not just apply to sports but to all fields of life.
By hearing of more women from various backgrounds experiencing success in their respective fields, young girls, teens, and fully grown women can relate their experiences to their own lives and muster up internal strength to achieve.
“We’re so alike. If she did it, I can too!” is a powerful message that cannot be overemphasized when it comes to the empowerment of women. Seeing is believing; in this case, the more women in the public eye break barriers and achieve greatness, the better.
Creating Positive Role Models
On a related note, having positive female role models also helps dismantle many negative stereotypes still lingering about women. These perceptions have caused a lot of damage over the years, and it is only through the concerted efforts of everyone that these can be eradicated over time.
Girls and young women need to see women excelling in different areas and fields to internalize the belief that they can do the same or even better.
When faced with challenges or difficulties, young girls with no positive female role models tend to give up sooner as they do not have someone to mirror themselves after and strive to become like.
This is where the importance of having more women in sports comes into play. The more visible successful women there are in sports, the more likely it is that young girls will see them as inspirations and role models, regardless of their athletic abilities.
Challenge Gender Norms & Stereotypes
Women participating in sports, especially traditionally masculine sports, are -whether they mean to or not- driving the machine of change forward. They show that women possess the talent and capacity to outperform men by excelling in such sports.
Some gender roles and expectations have diminishing relevance in the world today. Some were established as necessities for survival or better living in times long gone.
Women can do just as much as men can, and sports are no exception in today’s world. By excelling in their fields, they set examples of the heights that can be reached through dedication and hard work, universal traits that are attractive across all of society, regardless of gender.
As women work to break the barriers put in front of them, it is crucial to have a support system to encourage and uplift one another. This is where sisterhood comes into play. A sisterhood is a powerful tool that can be used to amplify the effects of breaking gender norms.
The collective force is undeniable when women stand together and back each other up. This type of support system is beneficial for all women, as it allows for the exchange of knowledge and creates a safe space to grow. As more women break barriers and defy expectations, the power of sisterhood will continue to be on the rise.
Breaking through the barriers that have been put in place is not easy. However, with enough dedication and effort, anything is possible. We must continue encouraging and empowering women and young girls to participate in sports to bring positive societal change.
Not only will this help to improve their physical health and mental well-being, but it will also challenge outdated gender norms and stereotypes.
Positive physical activity is directly linked to improved health. Regular exercise through sports strengthens bones and muscles and provides consistency and structure to various bodily functions. Therefore, girls and young ladies in schools should be encouraged to participate in sports to promote physical and mental development.
Encouraging women’s participation in sports creates a platform to enjoy all the benefits of exercise and sporting activities. Physical activity has improved mental health, and sport is no exception. Women participating in sports can relieve stress, combat anxiety and depression, and improve self-esteem.
Moreover, social interaction with team sports can help reduce loneliness and isolation. Participating in sports allows for the release of endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.
Most sporting activities are structured in that a coach is heading the team, a team captain, and the players act in diverse roles. Structures like this extend into other fields of life, most prominently in the workplace (where the boss is the coach, managers are team captains, and your colleagues are teammates.)
Sports offer the opportunity to directly experience being part of a team, carry that social knowledge forward, and apply it in various aspects of their lives. It will be easier to understand team dynamics and fit in better in social groups to fulfill the role (e.g., of the job) expected of them.
It also allows women and girls to interact with people from different walks of life and share their experiences and perspectives. Comradery built during the celebration of victories and consolation over defeat contributes significantly to emotional and psychological development.
Girls and women who play sports tend to have a healthier and more positive perspective on their body image. They are also more confident in facing challenges and tend to be more intent on trying new experiences, stemming from developing a positive self-image. As an extension, women and girls in sports will suffer fewer and less intense levels of depression and despondency.
All sports games provide a challenge and set objectives/goals to be reached during play. Mental fortitude is gained and strengthened by achieving these goals through competition and challenging opponents.
The chance to identify talent and preference is also recognized by playing sports, which opens up opportunities in the field that may have been otherwise unavailable.
Academic & Professional Growth
Women and girls who engage in sports often have increased access to education and better job opportunities. They are often seen as more ambitious and driven than their non-athletic counterparts.
Furthermore, women who play sports are more likely to better understand what they want in a partner and a relationship. This is because the skills learned from playing sports, such as teamwork, discipline, focus, and resilience, can be translated into other aspects of their lives.
There are many advantages to having women participate in sports. By increasing access to resources, breaking down barriers, and building confidence, women can use sport as a tool for empowerment and social development.
With the help of organizations and individuals who are willing to invest in sports, we can work together to create a more inclusive society for all.
Sports give girls and women a medium to meet and share experiences on and off the field. The more games they play together, the more time they spend with each other, forming deeper social bonds as time goes by.
Even for the more uptight personalities, a time will come when they let their hair down and feel comfortable enough to be themselves around fellow teammates.
Feeling truly comfortable with others in a group is worth cherishing, as professional (work) settings don’t often give this chance. Having a safe space goes a long way in promoting mental health and is another reason women and girls should be encouraged to participate.
Unfortunately, human rights are not ingrained in our genetics, even if early man somehow defined the difference between right and wrong. In a world constantly growing more aware of the impacts their actions have, groups feeling discriminated against have a platform to air their grievances, with a ready audience to hear them out.
Thanks to the flow of progress, it has become a norm -a recommendation even for women and girls to actively participate in sports and enjoy its fulfillment.
Women in sports have come a long way, but there is still work to be done. We need to continue celebrating the successes of women athletes and push for more opportunities for them.
Girls and young women need to see strong female role models to believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Let’s keep working together to empower women through sport!