Sexism in Sport
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Sexism in sport is a major problem and it is concerning that it still goes on in this day and age. We all know that women’s sport is not on as high a platform as men in regards to the media. It also lacks funding severely; women get 0.5% of sponsorship in this country while men get a staggering 61% . Although the situation has greatly improved, much more still needs to be done to get women the kind of recognition they deserve for the spectacular things they are achieving in their sports. Only 5% of media coverage is dedicated to women’s sport, which is a shocking figure considering 61% of sports fans would like to see more women’s sport televised . Some would have argued that the public do not want to see more coverage of women’s sport but there were massive ratings for sportswomen at the Olympics, for example, 16.3 million people tuned in to see Jess Ennis win gold. But unfortunately, outside the Olympic Games, women have been severely underrepresented in the media. It is extremely frustrating that the majority of the airtime is given to the Premier League and various other male sports and female sports are not getting the credit they deserve.
England women’s football team is rated ninth in the world; however, they get a fraction of the salary, sponsorship and fame of the men’s side. A female England player only earns around £16,000 a year while the likes of Yaya Toure (the Manchester City midfielder) can earn the same amount in just over 13 hours . However, the people working in the women’s game do not want to be compared to the men’s side as they play completely differently; they are less aggressive and the game is slower but more focus tends to be on skill and agility. There are many sports fans interested in women’s football but the game still needs to evolve for it to appeal to a mass audience and be shown regularly on television. To combat sexism in sport, more girls and women should be participating on a regular basis. It is unbelievable that by aged 14 only 12% of girls are doing the amount of exercise they are supposed to.
Some believe that it is not feminine to be interested in sports which personally, I do not agree with, but this seems to make many girls hold back from engaging in sport. I believe that if more women get involved in sport there will not be as big an issue with sexism. The aim of the Olympics was to ‘inspire a generation’ and this goal was achieved. It was a tremendous opportunity for young girls to get inspired. Many teenage girls said they didn’t have female role models to look up to but after the Olympics there are many fantastic role models for girls in the sporting world, including Paralympian Ellie Simmonds who won 2 Gold medals at London and Olympian Jessica Ennis who achieved a staggering 4 personal bests in one week; they were both incredible and created a huge buzz around women’s sport.