February 3rd was National Girls and Women in Sports Day, but it’s important to recognize and support women’s sports all throughout the year. The statistics are staggering and show that sports are a key place of inequality:
- 64% of girls will have quit sports by the age of 16-17
- 80% of girls feel that they do not belong in sports
- 5% of US media coverage features women
- 10% of all high school athletic directors are women
- Less than 20% of all college athletic directors are women
- Worldwide, male athletes continue to outnumber female athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
- 2 in 10 women are college coaches
- Men’s athletics still outspend women’s athletics 2 to 1 in scholarships, 3 to 1 in expenses and 4 to 1 in recruiting
Besides those statistics, there’s also tangible examples in the mainstream media. When females are featured on the covers of magazines, they are often portrayed as more feminine and sexualized whereas men are usually wearing their uniform and looking strong/heroic. When listening to women’s sport commentary, it is often focused on the looks of the athlete rather than the sport itself. Income inequality is also a major issue. After winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the US team was paid 1.6 million whereas the men’s French team earned more than 30 million after winning. The Women’s NBA are also the highest paid players but only earn a fifth of the lowest salary in the NBA. Luckily, things like Title IX legislation have helped to promote equality and there are things you can do too. Attend women’s sports games or watch them on TV, encourage girls to participate in sports, and support companies advocating for women’s athletics.
CHMS GIRL UP CLUB
Written by members of the City High Girl Up Club.