Gender equality is defined as “the state of having the same rights, status, and opportunities as others, regardless of one's gender.” Achieving gender equality is essential to creating a world where everyone is respected and not discriminated against based on gender. One of the central ways to promote gender equality is by striving for gender equality in sports. So, how can sports help promote gender equality?
Gender Equality and Sports
It’s important to note that we are still working toward gender equality in sports in the United States and around the world. Making sports more inclusive for everyone regardless of gender is a crucial step to achieving gender equality as a whole around the world. Here are some of the ways that sports can help promote gender equality:
- Participation and Opportunity - One of the ways that sports can promote gender equality is by creating more opportunities for girls and women to participate in sports. Girls and women cannot be treated equally if they do not have the same opportunities as men do. A recent milestone occurred at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where women made up 48% of all athletes competing, compared to only 2% in the Paris 1900 Olympics, which was the year women were first included in the Olympics.
- Pay - Another way that sports can help promote gender equality is by providing equal pay for both female and male athletes. The gender pay gap in the United States has resulted in women earning only 84% of what men do, on average. Achieving equal pay in sports will help to advance it across all industries.
- Representation - Sports can also help to promote gender equality by providing women with equal representation and media coverage. Sports have been male-dominated throughout history, but expanding the coverage and representation that women’s sports receive can help to broaden their exposure, which leads to increased viewership and teaches people that women’s sports are on the same level as men’s.
- Coaching, Teaching, and Leadership - Another way that sports can promote gender equality is by putting more women in coaching, teaching, and leadership positions. As mentioned earlier, sports have been male-dominated throughout history, including coaching and leadership roles. With many women breaking barriers and being promoted in sports, it shows that they are just as capable of performing all duties in roles that have primarily been held by men. This furthers the fight for gender equality—not just in sports, but in all industries—and can inspire younger generations when they see women in positions of authority and power.
At the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta, we do whatever it takes to build great futures. We aim to serve the children in our communities, especially by keeping them safe and healthy while promoting respect and equality.
One of the ways we do this is by providing opportunities for all children to get involved with sports and other physical activities through our clubs, like our Triple Play, RBI, and All Stars. We also partner with Special Olympics Mississippi to give all kids a chance to play sports. We even had two teams with club members compete at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games recently.
Each of our clubs provides kids with a safe place to play, learn, exercise, and receive nutritious foods. Find out how you can get involved with our organization by signing your child up for a club or afterschool program, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!