All publications of Samarth Madan . दिल्ली , भारत
Gender inequality/discrimination in Sports
By Samarth Madan
India achieved independence on 15th August 1947 and till today we face gender discrimination in various fields of life. Even after so many years the mentality of the society has not changed much. Today, women have proved to be equal to men by being on the post of the President, astronaut, world champions, business tycoons and many more but they always remain under appreciated. One of the best ways to explain this is the situation of women in sports in India. It is very evident that women in sports are not given as much importance as to men in sports. Apart from this fact, we tend to observe that women continue to excel in the field of sports by competing in international sporting events and competitions. But gender discrimination in this field is greater than any other field.
Apart from many challenges faced by women in this field, the most prominent one is the pay that they receive as displayed in various reports and studies. Taking BCCI as an example, the BCCI has given job securities to male cricketers who had salaries running in several lakhs but women had no job securities. Adding to that, ICC funded all men cricketers to fly in business class while women cricketers were funded to fly in economic class during world twenty-20 competitions.
In India we can also easily observe the coaches are usually male dominated. Women have to tackle a lot of hurdles in their race to become a sports coach in India. One of the main hurdle they have to face is misogny in Indian sports bodies. It doesn't morally allow women to be a sports coach in India no matter how talented they are.. Sports authority has played a very negligible role for safeguarding women from sexual assault.
According to a survey, the gender gap in sports is much greater as observed in any other field. Though major steps have been taken to reduce gender discrimination in sports, it is still evidently seen in cricket, football and golf. This is somewhere also because of the history of the Indian culture. Earlier, women were considered weak as compared to men in every field. They were not allowed to get out of the house but as the times are changing, women are constantly rising and proving every belief against them wrong. Today, in majority women are considered as equal to men and have even proved to be better in some fields.
Gender discrimination in sports is predominantly man made. Still we have seen a lot of disparity when it comes to unequal pay for men and women for equal sport events; or discrimination in the amount of prize money and the biasness in awards. It is probably one of the major reasons for the less number of female coaches in India. There have been many reported incidents of sexual harassment against women players. A special role has been played by the media in overshadowing the female players by the victorious men and many such reasons have contributed towards less participation of females in sports. Both men and women can bring more awards to India with a little encouragement and better gender parity. It is not the parents that are not letting girls play but it is the system of Indian sport that is to blame. Though many policies have been adopted by the government so far for the proper management of sports but the lacunae is highly apparent. It is high time that Draft National Sports Development Bill, 2013 would be given legal sanctity. Our constitution mandates the state responsibility for the smooth and proper functioning of the sports system in India. It is now the accountability of the government to implement the sports laws strictly. If it would be done, the days are not far when Indian women would take lead in all sporting events in majority.