Gender Discrimination in Sports – Different Types and Supporting Examples

Gender discrimination has been an issue raised in the sports world.

Gender should be equal and everyone should be given the right to express themselves freely through sports.

Below are several cases of gender discrimination that have been confirmed in the world of sports.

Gender Discrimination in Sports

gender discrimination in sports

Regardless of gender, all people should be treated equally and fairly.

Gender discrimination is a frequently occurring issue worldwide.

Through emphasizing gender equality in sports, it will empower and encourage many.

Promoting Gender Equality through Sports

Sports empower many people in various ways.

Sport is a very powerful tool from the perspective of gender equality.

All people have the right to equality in freedom, regardless of gender.

Sports can empower people through the equality in performance, indifferent to gender.

Gender Equality at the Olympics according to the IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), is a non-governmental sports organization that has states the following regarding gender equality.

Sport advocates and supports gender equality, as well as being a large and international platform for empowering women and girls.

The IOC has shown efforts to advance gender equality not exclusively in the world of sports, but in all areas across the globe.

Sport is one of the most powerful platforms for promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls.

As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC is taking continuous action to advance gender equality.

Great progress has been made in terms of balancing the total number of athletes participating at the Games, however, many other challenges and gaps remain. The IOC is working to address these inequalities through leadership development, advocacy and awareness campaigns, and appointing more women to leadership roles within the administration and key governance positions.

Together with many Olympic Movement stakeholders, the IOC has implemented significant gender equality initiatives so that girls and women around the world are being given greater access and opportunities to participate in sport.

Reference : “Gender Equality in Sport – IOC”

Gender Discrimination in Sports Media Coverage

According to the Tucker Center for Research on Girls&Women in Sport, while there is a 40% female participation in the world of sports, only 4% of their activities are covered by the media.

Sporting games and matches with female athletes are often scheduled at undesirable times.

As a result, the income of these female athletes are much lower in comparison to those of the male athletes.

While women make up around 40 per cent of sports participants, the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport discovered that they only receive about four per cent of sports media coverage.

Because their games are scheduled for less desirable times and are barely discussed in the media, women’s professional sports teams earn much less than their male counterparts, as their wages are revenue-based.

Reference : “Gender Discrimination in Sports – i-sight”

Gender Discrimination in Economic Status of Athletes

There have been numerous reports of athletes being subjected to gender discrimination financially.

In 2021, a discussion took place with respect to the salaries of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the National Professional Basketball Association (NPBA).

Due to the fact that professional female basketball players cannot earn a satisfactory income solely playing in one league, they must often participate in multiple international leagues.

Subsequently, by not having an off-season, they are unable to physically recover from muscle fatigue which hinders them from a satisfactory performance in their later games.

One of the most well-known and on-going debates, even today in 2021, are the salaries of the WNBA and their NBA counterparts.

It is known that most professional women basketball players, in order to make a sustainable income playing basketball, need to compete in numerous different national leagues.

This creates an extreme physical demand on the athletes by not having an off-season as they are playing in Europe, Russia, China, and Australia to make ends meet.

However, it is really important to note that the WNBA players are not asking for the multimillion-dollar figure incomes that their NBA counterparts receive, they are asking for percentage equity (more on this later).

Reference : “The Gender Equality Debate: A Boost for Women in Sport –”

History of Gender Discrimination in Sports

gender discrimination in sports

Throughout the history of sports, many cases have been confirmed in relation to gender discrimination.

The following are historically famous cases of these incidents.

Boston Marathon

In 1967, women were not permitted to participate in the Boston Marathon.
Kathrine Switzer hid her gender and entered the marathon.

2 miles into the run, despite the officials’ attempt to kick her off the course, she was able to complete the race.

Through her run, she was able to prove that women did not lack endurance or stamina.
Women were officially authorized to participate in marathons from 1972, and women’s marathon was added to the events of the 1984 Olympics.

Finishing the Boston Marathon despite an attempt to eject her

Experts claimed for years that distance running was damaging to women’s health and femininity.

In 1967, women weren’t allowed to officially enter the Boston Marathon, so Kathrine Switzer entered that year as “K.V. Switzer” to hide her gender.

Two miles in, an official tried to eject her from the course, a moment captured in dramatic photographs. She finished anyway, becoming the first woman to complete the race as an official entrant.

“We learned that women are not deficient in endurance and stamina, and that running requires no fancy facilities or equipment,” Switzer wrote in The New York Times in 2007.

Women were officially allowed to enter the race in 1972. Women’s marathoning joined the Olympics in 1984.

Reference : “8 Times Women in Sports Fought for Equality – The New York Times”

Women’s Tennis Association

Billie Jean King was a star tennis player and a pioneer.

She founded the Women’s Tennis Association and campaigned for equality in prizes in tournaments with both genders.

Furthermore, she defeated Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and is considered one of the most influential athletes of the 20th century.

A feminist tennis champion wins the Battle of the Sexes

The year 1973 was a big one for Billie Jean King, the trailblazing tennis star.

She founded the Women’s Tennis Association. She led a movement for female players to earn equal prize money in tournaments that featured players of both sexes.

And, on a September night at the Astrodome in Houston, she epitomized her crusade for gender equality when she handily beat Bobby Riggs, a self-described male chauvinist pig, in the Battle of the Sexes.

King went on to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 for her work championing the rights of women and gay people. She is considered to be one of the most important athletes of the 20th century.

“Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs,” King once said. “I want women to have the cake, the icing and the cherry on top, too.”

Reference : “8 Times Women in Sports Fought for Equality – The New York Times”

Unexpected Women’s Victory

In 2007, Venus Williams and several others sought to close the economic gap between female and male tennis players.

As a result, Wimbledon proposed that female tennis players receive equivalent prize money to that of the male tennis players.

Venus Williams wins a victory for women off the court

In 2007, after pressure from the tennis great Venus Williams and others, Wimbledon announced that women’s tennis players would receive prize money equal to the men’s.

Williams had made a failed plea to Wimbledon’s governing body the night before she won the title in 2005. And in 2006, she wrote an op-ed essay in The Times of London titled “Wimbledon Has Sent Me a Message: I’m Only a Second Class Champion.”

Reference : “8 Times Women in Sports Fought for Equality – The New York Times”

Revision of Gender Discrimination in Sports

gender discrimination in sports

We have confirmed many cases of gender discrimination in sports.

Everyone should be given equal rights, regardless of gender.

Sports have the ability to empower many, and its large influence calls for gender equality.

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