Friday, November 26, 2010

Empowering Women through Sports

& The Development of Women’s Football

Early generations gave men the authority to be the superior half of our race. From careers, to travelling as well as sports, they were given the opportunity to conquer it all, while women were asked to sit at home and tend to their children. Since those preliminary days the world has shown a lot of change, woman’s involvement in almost every aspect of life has brought on further development in the world.

In India, the empowerment of women has been a great achievement, whether in politics, medicine or media. There are many respected figures to look up to who have bought on change in gender discrimination and shown that women are equally, if not more talented, than men, they range from political figures like Indira Gandhi, to sportswomen like Sania Mirza.

Although laws have been passed to help bring empowerment to women, there is still a lacking in opportunities when compared to men. Women, have to struggle to make a name for themselves because through it all they tend to be scrutinized and criticized. In the field of sports, some states in India consider it taboo to talk about female participation. A very famous movie that showed this stereotypical belief in communities was “Bend It Like Beckham.” The movie showed that it was accepted for men to look up to a sports legend like David Beckham, unacceptable for a woman to do the same.
It is because of this that women do not have many opportunities and grounds for training when it comes to sports and athletics.

It is acknowledged that India is coming to terms with women in sports, with the rise of sports women like Sania Mirza and teams like the women’s hockey team but these women had to get where they are with much difficulty. They have had to face lack of interest from the government, gender discrimination from the public and severe discouragement from envious and narrow minded people in order to get to where they are today.

If a boy was interested in football, a parent could buy him a kit and take him to a soccer academy to build on his skill, but if a girl were to show interest in the sport, she wouldn’t be taken seriously causing a lack of women’s sports academy’s, training centres and clubs.

Countries in Europe and the Middle East have built numerous amounts of women’s academies, given their national team supportive training and special sports club to increase talent. Having given these opportunities not only encourages but teaches a lesson in equality between classes and genders.

Parents who try to convince their children that women’s football or cricket has not many prospects are not fully incorrect, but only in relation to India. India’s support system for women in sports is less than mediocre when compared to other countries.

Everyone watches the Premier League in India, but how many people know that Arsenal’s Women’s Team is more successful than the famous men’s team? How many people pay attention to the Women’s World Cup? If they did they would know that players like Mia Hamm and Martha are as talented, popular and rich as male favourites like Zidane and Ronaldo.

The story behind women and sports isn’t a complete dead end in India. There is no doubt that places like Calcutta, Goa and Kerala are taking interest in Women’s football. Calcutta has its own Women’s Football League, a major accomplishment in the area of Women’s Sports.

Even though India does have a national women’s football team, the performance internationally is very unsatisfactory due to the lacking in facilities available. No proper training grounds, camps, clubs prevent women from taking interest in sports like Football or Cricket.
Whilst travelling to Germany, it was said that Germany’s football federation took better care of our national team than India did itself. Such statements lead to disappointment and discouragement. It also makes a mockery of our government and our football associations.

In order for women to excel in sports, proper training, physiotherapy, regime and knowledge of the sport should have to be developed. There is no doubt that India is a host to many talented women but without proper guidance, the talent will be all but useless.

Although all other sports are opening the door for women athletes, for example, Sania Mirza in Tennis, Saina Nehwal in Badminton, Mary Kom in boxing, when it comes to football India is far behind.

Football or Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. The world cup hosts, not thousands, but millions of supporters every four years. The Premier league is watched all over the world, which is why women need to be given the opportunity to branch out into the sport. Some say football is not a sport, it’s life... There’s a lot to learn from it, like integrity, team work, passion and dedication. Only with correct training and awareness will women know the sheer beauty of a green field, the feeling of thousand spectators chanting your name and the exhilaration felt when the ball hits the back of the net...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Strength Of A Woman

When she is young, she will be daddy’s little girl and love him with all her heart. She will obey and respect and tell him how much she loves him. Through teen years, she will have crushes, first loves, heart breaks, tears, fears and worries. She will fight, but care; she will be filled with envy but not greed.

As she matures, she will fall in love and learn to be committed. She will dedicate her life to him, and when he fails to do so in return she will cry, hold her head up and continue to build her perfect relationship. She will forgive his every mistake, but do her best to make none of her own. She will care for him more than she cares for her own life. She will take care of him better than herself, while also tending to her parents and education. She will do as asked by her family, her teachers and her love. But she will still be a girl, she will cry on bad hair days and laugh at silly jokes. She will always be a good friend but always be cautious of who to trust.

And one day, she will leave her parents with tears in her eyes for the arms of the man she loves. She will build a house with a strong foundation, earn money and respect. She will own her pets and treat them like her children while making her husband feel like he is the only man in her life. Soon, she will start planning to start a family. She will take care of the house, work, cook and dream of a future with children.

As her wishes come true she will go through the pains of child birth like it is the easiest thing in the world and look at the wonder in her arms as if it was more than worth it. She will stay up all night listening to the cries of her baby break her heart, whilst making sure it doesn’t keep up her man. She will hardly sleep at night because of the tiny child holding on to her and she will hardly sleep during the day because she has a house and a husband to nurture.

She will shed tears on the first day of school and walk into office, healthy and ready to go. She will handle insults with calm and think only of her child. When she reaches home, she’ll hold her child tight as if she were to never let him go. She will face the crisis of who’s more important, but place her husband and her child equally. She will teach them to love unconditionally.

As her son grows older, he will learn respect, love, understanding and love from his mother. He will be the perfect man. Watching his mother make sacrifices for him, he will learn to make sacrifices for those he cares, and he’ll know that one day he will have to leave her. She will watch her husband one day leave her, his body cold and eyes shut... she will muffle her screams and hold in her tears. She will need to be strong for her son. She will tell him it’s alright, that daddy’s watching in heaven. And all this she’ll tell him knowing that one day she will be alone too.
Through her sons college years she will stay strong, bearing tantrums and fights. As her son matures she worries about being alone. She knows one day he will leave and as that day comes she will watch him go silently. After years of nurturing and care, looking around her empty home so alone and quiet. She will bear through it all and call him once in a while, with silent tears down her face, longing for her child
And on she’ll go on till death will call, she’ll stay strong and hold her head up high. .. because no matter what life throws her way she will always be strong.
Yes, she’ll always be strong.