It seems that by and large women’s sports are not receiving as much popularity as their male counterparts. Obviously, there are exceptions like tennis and gymnastics but on a whole, their popularity is not popular at all. Remember the 2017 ICCC finals for cricket? India lost to Pakistan. But did anyone notice that India also won from Pakistan in the women’s cricket match that day? Apparently not. Why is this?
Here are a few theories that might be possible answers for the same:
People believe that if women’s sports were worthy of ,ore coverage, they would receive it. But as we know, this is not the case. “A lot of our perceptions of how interesting women’s sports are come from the media itself,” points out Dr. Cheryl Cooky. “Men’s sports are going to seem more exciting,” she says. “They have higher production values, higher coverage and higher-quality commentary.”
2. Physical Structure:
We all know how women have a different body structure than men. It has a different stamina, a different physical ability, and that just might be one of the reasons why. Physical ability is kind of a big deal for an athlete and this body difference is real and impossible to ignore. It is silly, no doubt, but it’s there!
3. Lack of female staff:
This is just a theory but perhaps, if the media had a lot more of women sports reporters and editors, then the coverage of these women sports (which according to a study is only 4%) will be much more. Women will relate to women, unlike men, whose major focus is on their own favourite sports (e.g. Cricket).
4. They are different games:
We all know how women and men play the same sport, by name. But once we have watched both of them being played, we will realize that they are different sports, to an extent. No one who watched the NCAA men’s and women’s championship games can honestly say that they watched the same sport. Because they don’t. “In our school,” tells Reha, a 16 year old studying in class 11, “we have separate teams for boys and girls football. We aren’t allowed to play in the same teams because we have different rules, many of which do not apply to the other team.”
5. Lack of sponsors:
We all know by now that the women’s sports are not as popular as those of their male counterparts. People prefer to watch the more popular one and thus, not many seats are filled when the games are played. This leads to the sponsors to withdrawing their money. (Why would anyone invest in a game where they can’t even get profits out of it?) And that follows by ill-fitting venues, lack of exposure, etc. It’s like a circle or a chicken and egg situation. And the only thing that can change this is if the people show more interest in it.
So let’s take an initiative to help our women sports teams by buying tickets not only for the sports where the men play but the ones where the women play too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Shashwathi Srinivasa, our intern.