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...

No comments :

Post a Comment

Leave a note :)