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Mind the gap: The ongoing imbalance between men’s and women’s sport

 

Mind the gap: The ongoing imbalance between men\'s and women\'s sport

Aside from higher salaries, male athletes generally enjoy more coverage, sponsorship and esteem than their female counterparts. In Forbes’ ranking of the world’s highest paid athletes, not a single female featured in the top 20, while only two, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams featured in the top 50.

Last season, the FA Cup was won by Arsenal in both the men’s and women’s tournament but where the men received £1.8 million in prize money, the women received just £5000. The gender gap, in sport or otherwise, is not a new issue. Nor is the collection of possible explanatory arguments.

Arguments such as athleticism: If physiology determines the level at which sport is played, then in sports which are identical for men and women, such as football and rugby, women will always lag behind. To quote Kanye, men are in this regard, harder, better, faster, stronger and rewarded accordingly.

Another argument for the gender inequality is apathy. People simply don’t care enough about women’s sports for the media to cover it in a meaningful and consistent way and so breeds a cycle of minimal exposure leading to minimal engagement leading to minimal exposure. How can people get excited about women’s sport when it’s not adequately covered in the media? But how can the media justify covering subjects with little to no interest or engagement from audiences?

And last but not least: sexism. Women’s sport does not receive much recognition because we, as a society, continue to value men over women. In doing so, we adhere to traditional gender roles which deem aggressive field sports as inappropriate for females.

Leaving apathy, sexism and athleticism aside, surely women’s sport (and men’s sport alike) is primarily dictated by money. For women’s sports to flourish or increase in popularity there needs to be adequate investment.

Leaving apathy, sexism and athleticism aside, surely women’s sport (and men’s sport alike) is primarily dictated by money. For women’s sports to flourish or increase in popularity there needs to be adequate investment.

Aside from higher salaries, male athletes generally enjoy more coverage, sponsorship and esteem than their female counterparts. In Forbes’ ranking of the world’s highest paid athletes , not a single female featured in the top 20, while only two, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams featured in the top 50. […]

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