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An analysis of the state of women’s sports in India & how to promote gender equality in sports

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“Bharat ki Mahila” has showcased their talents on the global stage from no participation in the first Summer Olympics to much participation in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. This was the first time India won Olympic medals in 6 disciplines- wrestling, badminton, hockey, boxing, weightlifting, and track and field. Out of 7 awards won by India, 3 were procured by women- a performance that put forward the women athletes on the global stage. The grit and assurance shown by women athletes to accomplish podium finishes will make areas of strength for more women from the country to take part and succeed in sports. In this blog, we will look at the status of women in sports in India and how can we promote gender equality.

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India has constantly evolved, socially, and culturally with its vision of transformation. Earlier sports in India were only considered for males and still today, some people have this mindset. But the ones who broke the folklore of dominant male culture in sports have presented India at the Olympics. 

Indian society is firm in the conviction that women are naturally menial to men because of the belief that a woman’s obligation is bound exclusively to birthing and taking care of children and family. Women’s road to success is a battle against bias, mediocrity, and discrimination. Customs and traditions seep their directions into discouragement. 

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What do Indians think about women’s sports?

An analysis of the state of women’s sports in India & how to promote gender equality in sports | KreedOn
Image Source- The New Indian Express

A survey led by BBC in 2020 asked Indians, Are women as good as men in sports? When a large number of people who participated said YES. However, 42% of the participants believe that women’s sports are not “entertaining” as men’s. There were also some dissenting statements related to their appearance and childbearing ability. Research showed that around 64% of Indian adults partook in no sort of sports or physical activity. The figure was far more detestable when segregated by gender.

How Manipur, a powerhouse of sports is now being delicate?

Manipur has produced extraordinary athletes from Mary Kom, the six-time world champion and Olympic bronze winner in boxing to weightlifting star Mirabai Chanu, the silver medalist at Tokyo Olympics.

But unfortunately, now, Manipur has an inquisitive situation where 48% of female athletes said that they need to “travel more than 10 km to access sports facilities. Some reports state that problems like having no female representation in governing bodies, poor access to sports facilities, safety concerns, numbers of female coaches, unsafe traveling, and discrimination has led down the sporting spirit of women athletes. 

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Factors responsible for less participation of women in sports in India

No parental encouragement

The family doesn’t encourage their daughters to play sports, because of societal norms and standards. They think sports are only made for males, females should be more concerned about taking care of their families and giving birth.

Less Knowledge

Even today taking part in games and sports for women has not become a common phenomenon. This happens due to a lack of awareness and knowledge about sports. 

Conservative approach

People believe that certain sports like wrestling and boxing are seen as ‘not suitable’ for women. They believe these sports are only made for macho men who are strong and healthy.

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No recognition

Even if a woman athlete finds a way out in the sports industry her success stories are not prioritized much. Women athletes face discrimination in media coverage and other supporting facilities. 

Stimulating gender equality in sports

An analysis of the state of women’s sports in India & how to promote gender equality in sports | KreedOn
Image Source- Hindustan Times

Lessen the investment/funding gap

 Inadequate money is one of the issues many sports teams face. Most of the time, male teams receive most sponsorship and television deals. Most companies are reluctant to support women’s sports because people generally don’t take an interest and those who do view it as a moral obligation rather than an investment. 

Expanding funding/sponsorship for female athletes can shut the economic gap. This will result in more choices for women athletes to participate.

Media exposure

Media portrayals of sports and athletes add to the development of harmful gender stereotypes, as the media generally represents women athletes as women first and athletes second. They work as a powerful tool to disseminate information and influence the beliefs and practices of individuals. They should connect the audience with the spirit and determination of women athletes. The training and joining of female reporters in the sports industry can likewise contribute to addressing gender inequalities in sports and promoting women in sports. 


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Stop assuming men as heroes

One more way to promote gender equality in sports is to quit expecting and depicting men as superior athletes. Men are frequently believed to be better, stronger, and faster at sports than other genders because of the form of their bodies.

Make strategies for gender equality

Policies should be made for women athletes who set forth an equivalent amount of effort and determination and ought to be entitled to similar participation policies, funds, recognition, and financial support.

Education at the grassroots level

 Primary level awareness of Sports in India can be a great initiative to level up the standard of women’s conditions in sports. The introduction of different sports to children at their grass root level will help them to represent India at the Olympics in the future.

Organizing camps, seminars, and workshops

The sports minister of India should introduce different programs and promote Gender equality. Known athletes and coaches should be given the responsibility to be aware of and encourage women to play sports.

Conclusion

We really want sportswomen of days to deal with the reigns and empower the forthcoming generations. Our society needs to pursue a massive social change where we can promote women in sports in India and then we will have a great and healthy hard-working ethic. 

For the last couple of years, women athletes have been making the right sort of commotion in the field of sports. Not only are they breaking the manacles of gender stereotypes and proudly representing India at the Olympics and Paralympics, but they are also setting up themselves as the inspiration and motivation for a number of youth athletes. Indian female athletes are equipped in every way needed for the situation and can take on the World.


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