WHEN WILL WOMEN'S SPORTS GET THE SAME ATTENTION AS MEN'S? GENDER INEQUALITY IN SPORTING ENVIRONMENT

WRITTEN BY M.G

The issue of gender inequality in sport is as old as sport itself. Gender inequality isn’t just an Australian problem, it’s a worldwide problem. Most countries recognize that equal rights should exist between men and women. Progress has been made, but sport still remains an environment dominated by men and women remain the “other” in the sporting environment. The way this affects our participation in sports is that there are considerably more opportunities for male athletes than there are for female athletes.

Suzanne Collins' science fiction novel, The Hunger Games, is a perfect example of the issue of inequality, more specifically gender inequality. The Hunger Games is mainly established in a poor society identified as District 12 located in Panem. Separating Panem's citizens into 12 districts, it is conspicuous to see the social gap between civilizations. The society of district 12, who live in poverty and hardship, have a completely different lifestyle to those living in the Capitol. The Capitol is known as the more significant and remarkable district, and clearly have different rights and opportunities than other districts. As Katniss, the main female protagonist, states "Days of hunting and gathering for this one meal and even then it would be a poor substitution for the Capitol version." (5.26) This quote is a perfect example of how the districts and the Capitol have completely different opportunities and significance. This also connects in with reality and shows how there are different opportunities for different groups, males and females.

HOW DOES GENDER INEQUALITY AFFECT YOUR SPORTING LIFE?

ABC News’ interview with Olympic gold medallist Liesel Jones, Jones states “gender equality means that women should receive the same treatment as men.” So in sports, why don’t they?

Australian women have been competing at the Olympic Games since 1912; and for the first time in Australian history, involvement in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, we had more female athletes representing our country than males. The team that travelled accommodated 214 women and 206 men. Female representation for Australia has increased from 16% at Munich in 1972 to 46% at Beijing 2008 and London 2012; where our Australian female athletes won over half of all the medals.

But why HASN'T this change the fact that there is less value placed on women’s sports then men’s?

Television coverage of sports in dominated by men, meaning men are making more money for their organisations then women. But don't we all agree the principle of equal pay for equal work? There is clear evidence that there is a huge wage gap between professional men and women athletes. According to Forbes' List, there only two women places among the top 100 best paid athletes, tennis players Serena Williams (#40) and Maria Sharapova (#88).

"There is a gap that needs to be closed, but it's not going to happen overnight. We do know that women's sport is very exciting, we know it can draw really big audiences but we need more media coverage and more commercial investment," Grant.C, BBC Sport.

aren't we all humans?

The fact of similar athletes having different opportunities and accomplishments is obvious there is some form of gender inequality, which is terrible . Females having less success and fortune because of their gender is horrific. Gender Inequality is clearly an issue portrayed in today's society and our everyday lives. Everyone deserves the same opportunities, rights and success, no matter your gender, race, religion, sexual orientation. But like it or not, in the sporting environment it still does. Whether it be as athletes or coaches, sports remains a male-dominated arena on many levels. Why is this still an issue in our civilization? Why has nothing been done to change the matter? How are we going to resolve this problem?

References

Collins, S. The Hunger Games.

Give the female athletes a level playing field on sports funding | Herald Sun. Retrieved 23 October 2016, from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/give-the-female-athletes-a-level-playing-field-on-sports-funding/story-fni0ffsx-1226724417784

Woemn's sport and the fight for equality | The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 October, 2016 from http://www.smh.com.au/sport/womens-sport-and-the-fight-for-equality-20150626-ghyn5z.html

Gender inequality of Olympic proportions | ABC News. Retrieved 23 October, 2016 from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-26/bainbridge-gender-inequality-of-olympic-proportions/4156158

Gender Discrimination in Sports | Live Strong.com. Retrieved 24 October, 2016, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/247625-gender-discrimination-in-sports/

Gender inequality still a problem in sport | Otago Daily Times. Retrived 23 October, 2016, from https://www.odt.co.nz/sport/other-sport/gender-inequality-still-problem-sport

The World's Highest Paid Athletes | Forbes. Retrieved 1 November, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/2/#tab:overall

Thompson, A & Lewis, A. (2014) Men get more prize money than women in 30% of sports | BBC Sports. Retrieved 1 November, 2016, from http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/29744400

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