HomeSports 2.0KreedOn Case StudyWomen in sports in India: The stories of struggle, grit & success

Women in sports in India: The stories of struggle, grit & success

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A Revolutionised approach of women 

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Women are the backbone of not only a family but the entire society. They are great achievers who play a major role in empowering society. The women not only in India but worldwide are underestimated and their capabilities are undermined in comparison to men yet they seek a way out to outshine men. They are mere watchers who are humiliated in different domains of the profession and are not allowed to pursue their dreams and career. Several women in sports in India have tried to break free from the shackles of discrimination, social deprivation, and cultural biases to establish a promising career for themselves. 

Female athletes have occupied an esteemed place in society by acquiring numerous roles other than being just a mother. Their hard work and passion to prove themselves has helped them attain respect and they are finally acknowledged and appreciated. The mindset of people has revolutionized and they have started considering women as admirable beings who inspire the rest of the world to become the best. Perhaps, the phenomenal growth of women is a remarkable outcome of their dedication and desires. 

The legendary Women in sports in India

women in sports in india - KreedOn

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Sports is a field that unites every person worldwide including women in sports. There are several phenomenal women athletes that are admired and have inspired the young generation to step forward and live their dreams. When it comes to sports for women, things are not very easy for them and they have to undergo hardships to rise above men. Even though men are more celebrated and paid higher in comparison to women yet female athletes seek their way out of all the challenges through their dedication and hard work. 

Women have fought their way out and are at present being credited for their outstanding performance at different sports platforms. They surpass all the obstacles and it does not kill their spirit as they are the ultimate game-changers. Several players like Sania Mirza, Mary Kom, Mithali Raj, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Rani Ramphal, and others have made the nation proud with their glorious victory in different sports domains. They have transcended the dominated sphere of sports that was only limited to men. Female athletes are constantly rising in number and they are equally unrivaled and undefeatable, for instance, more capable than men in not only sports but all domains of life. 


Also Read: Sports business, goods & the Indian E. commerce industry – A case Study


History of women in sports in India

Indian women sports history - KreedOn

The history of women’s sports can be dated back to the 19th century as upper-class women were actively involved in playing games that emerged towards the end of the 19th century like horseback riding, archery, skiing, tennis, golf, and skating, etc. Women participated in the modern Olympic games for the first time during the second game of Olympics in 1900 and only free male Greek citizens were allowed to participate in the first modern Olympic Games as well as ancient Olympic games. Moreover, women could only participate in the sports events that were considered as “feminine sport” and known as women’s sports events.

The Olympic game and its decisions were operated and dominated by men who considered women as vulnerable beings and not suitable for all the games. Only 12 women participated in the second Olympic games out of 1066 athletes from 19 countries. Sports is a universally shared human culture that has changed the mindset of people over time and their lifestyle as well. It was a mere beginning to the evolution of women’s sports. The facilities and opportunities provided to men and women also differ. 

Challenges faced by women in sports in India

Image Source: Human Right Watch

Gender equality is one of the major concerns of Indian society and it is now being looked after by several authorities and women as well. Women are made to face the consequences of buoyant sexism and they are judged in all aspects of life. Women have now excelled and endorsed in their lives. The sports industry has seen an upsurge in the number of women athletes. The first and foremost challenge faced by women in sports is the dip in their pay scale as women athletes are paid either less or half what is paid to the male counterparts. There is a huge discrepancy between the male and female incomes and so is the case with prize money.

Even when both the competitors are equally talented yet they are differentiated. Other than this, female athletes are less representative as compared to men. And the former is usually neglected and deprived of the golden opportunities that are secured for men. 

Women are also commodified on and off the field. They are not seen as entities of potential and talent. Even the successful and accomplished athletes are scrutinized by the crowds. The stable income of female athletes seems bleak and there is an uncertainty of job security. It leaves no choice for women to take another job for additional income. Despite all these challenges, female athletes are striving to achieve excellence in life and are making history. 

Top 5 famous women in sports in India

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza | women in sports in india - KreedOn
Image Source: Indian Express

Sania is a professional tennis player born on 15 November 1986. She was ranked number one in the world for 91 weeks straight in the women’s doubles category and she is the biggest sporting icon in the nation. She is the first and the only female tennis player from India to win six major titles. Mirza is one of the two Indian female tennis players to win a WTA title and the only to reach the top 100 singles rankings. She has been honored with the Arjuna award, Padma Shri and other awards as well. She has inspired many women to display their talent and pursue their dreams.


Also Read: India vs Pakistan | What is The Fuel Behind Their Rivalry?


Mary Kom

Mary Kom - KreedOn
Image Source: Scroll.in

She is one amongst the most influential Indian athletes. She has battled her way to the top using her sheer hard work and determination. Despite being a victim of gender discrimination, she became the only woman boxer to win medals in every format of amateur boxing. She is an Indian Olympic boxer and also known as the unbreakable. Mary was born in a proletarian family on 24 November 1982 and that never stopped her from achieving excellence. She is a 5-time World Amateur Boxing Champion. And the only woman boxer to win a medal in the six world championships. Mary became the only Indian woman boxer to qualify for the Summer Olympics when she competed in the London Olympics. Mary Kom has been honored with several prestigious awards including Padma Shri, Arjuna Award for boxing, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, and many more for her outstanding performance.

Saina Nehwal

women in sports in india - KreedOn
Image Source: Olympics

She is the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal. Saina Nehwal is one of the most acknowledged players in the world. She has made the nation proud with her achievements and is the first female and the second Indian shuttler to be ranked first in the world after Prakash Padukone. Saina Nehwal has won over 24 international titles, which includes eleven superseries titles. Considered one of the most successful Indian sportspersons. She is credited for increasing the popularity of badminton in India. She has been awarded with Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, and Padma Bhushan for her achievements. 

Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj - KreedOn
Image Source: Indian Express

Mithali Raj is an Indian cricket player and the test and ODI captain of the Women’s National Cricket team. She is a right-handed opening batswoman and the highest run scorer in women’s international cricket. She is also the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket. And the only female cricketer to surpass the 7,000 run mark in women’s One-day internationals matches. Mithali is the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs. She is the recipient of several national and international awards, including the Wisden leading woman cricketer in the world in 2017, Arjuna award in 2003, and the Padma Shri in 2015, by the Government of India. She is one of the most renowned women players worldwide. 

PV Sindhu

women in sports - KreedOn
Image Source: Indian Express

She is the Indian badminton superstar. PV Sindhu began her journey at a very young age and ever since then she has won several medals at multiple tournaments including Olympics and world championships. She is the first Indian to become the Badminton World Champion. Sindhu is only the second individual athlete from India to win two consecutive medals at the Olympic Games. She is a warrior who battled her way and bagged numerous awards throughout her career. Sindu has been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, Padma Shri, and Arjuna award. 


Also Read: The Evolution of Fantasy Sports In India: From Past to Present


The strenuous journey of success

Hima Das - KreedOn
Image Source: Indian Express

Women have been oppressed and considered inferior by men throughout centuries. They have been deprived of opportunities and are seen as suitable for menial work. Over decades, women have fought their ways out of the dominant culture. Now they have finally reached the zenith as they never gave up. Even after being differentiated and humiliated, women have excelled in their lives through their consistent perseverance and desire to prove themselves. 

Dreams can be unraveled through dedication and hard work. Women have made a profound presence in the sports industry and their patience turned out to be fruitful for them. Life is not easy yet for those who try to find their way out.  


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