Jiva Technology

Women in Sport

When we think of gender inequality, we usually think in terms of work and in particular pay and opportunity. A case in point being the massive differences in pay between male and female presenters recently disclosed by the BBC. It seems faintly ridiculous that a presenter could be paid differently based on whether they were born a boy or girl. Historically, there have been huge differences in how men and women were treated in sport. The men got the bigger venues, the women were an afterthought. The men got the money, the women, well …

It was only recently that the women’s Boat Race moved to the traditional course from Putney to Mortlake. Similarly, the women’s Tour de France is held on ‘easier’ terrain than the men’s. But the exploits of the England cricket team and the England football team are shaking things up in many regards. At cricket, the men lose in the semi final, then women win the tournament. The Lionesses are currently running roughshod over the opposition at football, the men always lose in the quarter final. At rugby, a big deal was made of the men not losing in New Zealand. Less of the women winning there. But there seems to be a slow shift in attention that comes with success. English women are grabbing headlines based on being successful. People are turning up to watch and the money is beginning to follow. Its hard to ignore success.

Andy Murray has been a brilliant advocate of women in sport by continually correcting reporters who talk as if women’s tennis didn’t exist. But rather than relying on men making space for women in sport, some brilliant female teams are making waves of their own, based on talent and achievement. Long may that continue.

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