As women continue to fight for equal pay in the workplace and equal rights overall, the topic of women's athletics has moved to the forefront of many discussions of gender equality. Although there has been great progress in recent years with the visibility of women's athletics, there is still much more that we could be doing to encourage these endeavors. Here are three ways that we could do more.
Turn on cable television or streamed content at any time of the day, and you are likely to find a wide range of sporting events to watch. However, you are often out of luck if you are looking to watch women in competition. Unless it is a major championship, women's athletics are largely ignored by the mainstream. While the media support has increased tenfold over the last decade, it is still far behind the coverage offered to men's events. If women's sporting events are ever to come into their own, this is a situation that must change.
With the success of the U.S. women's soccer team winning its fourth World Cup and its second consecutive one, the issue of how much female athletes are paid was thrust into the limelight. After years of indifference, people are taking notice of the pay inequality. Because a women's athletic competition generally doesn't bring in the money that its male equivalent does, it is easy for people to think that female athletes do not deserve the same compensation. The WNBA is another example in which the pay for professional women pales in comparison to that of their male counterparts. In order to fully support women in sports, fans need to attend games, buy merchandise and engage with other supporters and the media in an effort to show their financial support for the athletes and the leagues.
Encourage Participation at a Young Age
The support for women's athletics starts at a young age. Athletic young girls grow into empowered females who are more likely to support women's sports. By encouraging participation in sports at an early age, we can build the fan base needed to propel women's athletics onto the main stage. Young female athletes also grow up to be encouraging mentors for the next generation of players. This is a cycle that must be supported in order for it to flourish and grow.
Now is the time to make a stand about the importance of women's athletics in today's modern society. With solid financial support, active participation and equal media access, women's athletics will become even more visible and meaningful.
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