Women in Sports
Though more women are participating in sports and sporting events, the audience still prefers a men’s match to a women’s. Our readers opine that this is because women’s matches are usually less energetic than men’s. They suggest that women up their game and call for more training centres for aspiring women sportspersons
Sports and games are played around the globe and these events are fun to watch it. With the advocacy of gender equality and equal treatment for all in our society, apparently women’s participation in the sports is increasing. There are plausible reasons for people’s preference to watch matches played by men. Slow game, lack of masterful shots, among others are the reasons for our preference not to watch female athletes playing. And it is not solely their fault. We are living in a male-dominated society, where society has not let women utilise their full potentials. Most often they are busy in household activities. They barely get time for practice. Attractive incentives, perpetual practice, and eradicating the existing
social-cultural taboos, could help them master their sports. However, developed countries have already adopted these strategies. For instance, it is good to watch Serena Williams play, number one tennis player, who can galvanise her audience by delivering dexterous shots against her opponent.
— Rajan Pandit, Gothatar
I love listening to the songs by Rihanna, reading books of JK Rowling and watching Priyanka Karki’s movies, but when it comes to watching women’s sports either on TV or in the stadium, I hardly find it interesting. Everyone prefers watching men’s football to women’s because women cannot play with the same stamina and speed like men, which ultimately makes the game boring. According to sportswriter Paul Gallico, “It is a lady’s business to look beautiful and there are hardly any sports in which she seems to look beautiful.” Years of sports media analysis and consumer research unfortunately suggest that how women look gets more press than how they play. But there are some sports where women receive more coverage than men like ice skating, gymnastics and tennis. So, the reasons for less popularity may be gender stereotypes, male-dominated media and lingering pseudoscientific claims surrounding the inferiority of women’s bodies. But real fans do not care about it simply because they don’t have time to judge. To raise people’s interest in watching women’s sport, there should be sponsorship for women sports, media should play a vital role to highlight female sports and people should treat females as equal as to the males.
— Vijay Giri, Mid-Baneswor
Time is one of the major factors and women’s participation in sports is more recent as compared to that of men. Look at the FIFA men’s world cup Vs women’s cup, men’s world cup has more than 60 years of history than of women’s cup. Also advertisement plays an important role. I believe women’s sports are advertised less and hence receive less attention. However, women’s tennis is as popular as men’s tennis and other women’s sports are gaining popularity slowly at international level. Let’s hope in a few decades, all women’s sports will be as popular as men’s.
If we try to remember any prominent members from our female soccer team or cricket team or gymnastics team, we will hardly be able to take names of the players whereas we will be able to list a number of male sportspersons. This actually reflects the apathy of our society towards a gender in sensitive value system where we choose to ignore a significant proportion of our population. Irrespective of whether an individual is a sports celebrity or not, women in general are not given their proper place in society. What is sad about this phenomenon is that a significant part of our ladies are actually directly or indirectly responsible for devaluing and defacing women in our society! Unless this attitude and apathy towards women is changed or evolved towards positivity, women sportspersons will never find their rightful place in our society. Not only men, but other women of her family are equally responsible for not recognising the talent of women in sports due to a variety of socio-economic and cultural reasons. Unless we change this attitude, the status of women in our society will continue to remain suppressed. I believe that more than men, women themselves have to come forward to make the change happen.
— Saikat Kumar Basu
Without any doubt the participation of women in all kinds of sports has increased over the years. It looks like women can easily achieve success in all the areas like men have. But there is some kind of force that is not permitting women to stand up in front of men. Women of our society are expected to take care of homes and not to hit sixes on the ground. When the government is unstable, how can women be trained for the games? So, the only solution is that we should change our belief and ideas that women are only for household chores. Everyone should believe in them and that they can achieve anything.
— Bishnu Pangeni, Chormara, Nawalparasi
People’s interests in sports participated by women depends on people’s attitude towards women. Mary Ward, one of the great visionaries of the 17th Century had said, “Women in time to come will do great things”. And truly women are doing great things because they are as capable as men. But still preference is given to men and it is because we lack vision in the country, society, neighbourhood and family. If every woman, whether a mother or daughter or sister, should take steps to stand against the odds, and surely we will find many people giving preference and showing interest in women’s activities (sports).
— Dreamtwriter, Kalimpong
Watching sports is very time consuming. I would rather utilise my limited free time watching adrenaline-packed men’s soccer than watching women’s soccer. Apart from having a conventional view, I guess the best way to increase people’s interest in watching women’s sports is by introducing shorter but more action-packed version of regular sports for women. However, I must also confess that women already have their share of edge in strategic and endurance-based sports like judo, badminton, tennis, swimming and weightlifting, et cetera. Here a counter-question should be asked: ‘Why men’s beauty contest is not as popular as that of women?’ (Noted - Eds)
— Umesh Pandey, Ratopul, Kathmandu
It is because women’s participation in sports is not as old as that of men. Men have been conquering different kinds of sport since the beginning of time. The majority of famous athletes are men. As a result, people are more accustomed to watch sports participated by men. Due to the initial habit of people watching sports participated by men, most people prefer not to watch games played by females. But women’s participation in all kinds of sports has increased over the years.
It is clear that men and women are the two sides of the same coin. But I don’t feel the equality between men and women in sports. Men’s matches are more popular than women’s matches. I think this is so due to lack of advertisement and publicity of their matches. Women’s participation in sports is less because of the superstition in society. In every household, a son goes out to play but a daughter is not allowed to go out to play as parents don’t feel secure about it. Culture starts from every home. So, the family should support and encourage their daughters in sports. But in some games, girls are doing great like in swimming, tennis, badminton et cetera. Likewise, there used to be male coaches in schools but now there are female coaches in schools too. This is good news for all. So, women’s participation in sports depends on the country’s policy to popularise women sports.
— Pratima Lama/Relina Rai
The participation of women in games or matches is low as compared to men’s in Nepal. As a result, it lacks professional women players too. I think the reason behind this is due to lack of proper training facilities and trained coaches, economic reasons, lack of scope, lack of support and motivation by family and the nation, et cetera. There are people who watch female athletes playing but the audience in the games played by men is higher than that of women. To increase people’s interest in sports participated by women, its scope along with information regarding their matches, their success stories and their struggle should be shared with people.
— Surya Maya Maharjan, Dhumbarahi-04, Kathmandu
It’s true that the women’s participation in all kinds of sports has increased over the years. But if we are asked to name the female players in any kind of sports, we fail to do so with some exceptions. We only watch the game of men, even women prefer to watch the men’s game. Men are physically stronger than woman which is the main weapon for sports. I also think that there are many male fans of sports than female in the world. From the business point of view, all are investing in men’s sports. Other reasons include our culture and our tradition. Women have to give more time to their family after giving birth to their child and their careers take a backseat. Much has to be done for the development and empowerment of women.
— Sucl Samyog Adcari
Nepal has remained a male-dominated country where women have lived under the shadow of males since ages. When it comes to sports, the fact can never be denied that even females are becoming active in almost every sport of the country just like males. They are also proving their capability by performing well in the sports which they take up as their career. Besides we also see them making the country proud, mainly in the South Asian region. Still female participation in the sporting arena of our country is either neglected or overlooked for the fact that males have been making their presence felt for a long time. On top of that, males are much more ahead of females in every sport of the country due to which the men are the ones who grab far more attention. The other fact is that our country does not want to remember female athletes in comparison to their male counterparts. In order to make sure that female participation in sports look interesting, they (females) should be brought to the level of the males in sports by carrying out proper training and enough practice.
— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor
Competitive physical activity or games are referred as sports. The purpose of sports is to improve and maintain physical ability, provide entertainment to the audience and also contest between two sides.
In the past decades, mostly men used to take part in sports but in these days women’s participation has increased and has produced many professional athletes. Women are equally participating in sports but still they are not as popular as male sportspersons. People prefer to watch games participated by males rather than females. It is because by nature that male sportspersons are faster, stronger and more athletic and so the match are more interesting for the audience to watch. In the case of women, their physical ability is weak and soft by nature as compared to males. It doesn’t mean women are weak and cannot do anything. Still they can do even better than man.
In context of Nepal, females have less opportunity than men. Our society is conservative and traditional in gender equality. Mostly women are engaged in household activities rather than sports and fitness. To increase people’s interest in sports participated by women, I think women should be treated equally as men and should also get freedom to be involved in sports and fitness activities instead of domestic work.
It is true that women’s participation in all kinds of sports has increased over the years. There are many professional athletes. Serena Willams (American tennis player), Ronda Rousey (American mixed martial artist), Sania Mirza (Indian tennis player), Mary Kom (Indian boxer), et cetera are some famous women athletes. In every sport, women are coming forward to change the mentality that sports is just for men. When it comes to the popularity of the women’s sports, I totally agree that men’s games are much more popular. But I disagree that all people do not prefer to watch women’s matches. I mean if we investigate, we will surely find a mass of people who prefer women’s matches. However, I cannot deny that if they are to choose between women’s match and men’s match, it would be men’s match. I think women’s matches are not as competitive as that of men. And they don’t seem to be very passionate about their games.
Other reasons may be traditional society, and lack of facilities for training. In order to increase people’s interest in women’s games, women have to play their role. They should not feel uncomfortable to come forward and give their best, so that their games become interesting and worth a watch.
Women are participating in various games nowadays but they are not as popular as men. The reason for this is that men can attract many more people than women in their games. And I think that this is natural. So, this doesn’t require argument.
— Nirajan Shrestha, Nayabazar
I don’t think that women are less capable of playing different types of games as compared to men. Women can surpass all expectations of audiences and viewers on and off the field. And if we turn the pages of history, many brave women have proved their astounding legacy. The only problem is that very few of us are enthusiastic to watch women play in various events. To make the situation worse, nominal number of audience go to the stadium or any sports field to watch matches associated with women. This can be quite frustrating and distressing for the aspiring female players who possess magnificent talent and ability. In order to abate such a harsh reality, each and every individual ought to change their mindset and encourage each other to give some time for female players too. Every wife must force their husband to watch women’s games and every woman must proudly publicise women’s sports without any hesitation. More responsibility goes to women regarding this matter. Women must realise that they can make a difference and can defy the odds.
— Sanjog Karki,Tansen-6, Basantapur, Palpa
Nowadays we can see many women involved in different kinds of sports. Yet, the fact is that their games/matches are not watched or recognised by the people no matter how good they are. Behind this problem is that the narrow minded thinking of our society. They think that women’s matches or games are not energetic and it’s boring to watch them. They even think that women and sports don’t go together as women are meant to do only households works. In order to overcome this situation, we must first change the attitude of our society’s people who think women don’t have physical capacity to play any kinds of sports. Secondly, we must open more sports training centres for women where they can get better training. Not only that, the government and private sector must also promote women’s sports. An opportunity should be given to women to show their talent in sports.
There is a vast difference between men and women participating in sports. Men are given more respect due to their physique who are said to make the game competitive, exciting and entertaining, whereas women who are the same god’s creation are considered physically, emotionally, socio-economically and psychologically weaker by birth. And due to this, men’s sports are better than women’s. In my opinion, it would be really difficult for women themselves to uplift their status and make their sports popular themselves from their individual level. Further, it is the key responsibility of the government and everyone to provide good opportunities to women towards sports and make women as sportspersons more popular and commercial. Only then, supporters, fans and audiences will increase for women’s sports.
The antipathy of men towards sporting events of women is the end-product of nothing but that of a coin named sexism. On one side of the coin exists the bankrupt superiority complex and the ‘machismo’ of men which prevent them from appreciating the sporting credentials of women cricketers, footballers or table-tennis players. Perhaps they think it beyond their ‘dignity’ and ‘manhood’ to watch games played by women! However, these very male-chauvinist ‘sports lovers’ will walk miles to view the spectacle of beach volleyball or swimming events of women! Yes, just to watch them skimpily-clad! This is the very reason why men prefer to watch the play of certain ‘bold’ female tennis stars rather than viewing Andy Murray or Rafael Nadal! And this mindset of men reflects another side of that coin named sexism! Only when minds are enlightened about the equality of sexes and taught not to view womenfolk with vulgar angle, can the viewership of all sporting events of women increase.
— Kajal Chatterjee, India
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Nepal boasts of a diverse flora and fauna of significant value found nowhere else in the world. But many species of these plants and animals are facing various threats — while some have become extinct, many are on the verge of extinction. What flora or fauna (or both) in your area is facing the threat of extinction/ or has already become extinct? Why? What do you think should be done to protect them from disappearing from the planet? Illustrate.
Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, August 5 by 2 pm to Features Department, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org