Women's sport is a practice that still goes unnoticed in many countries. Its visibility is far reduced compared to that of men. But what are the causes of this gap? Are we doing something to change course?
The combination of women and sport is still linked to the expression 'crystal ceiling', coined by the Wall Street Journal in 1986 and which alludes to the invisible barriers that women must face in order to advance in the professional field and reach positions of responsibility. Although the term dates back to the 1980s, it is a reality that has always accompanied working women.
In sports, in the almost total absence of models to follow, the glass ceiling becomes even thicker. In Italy, although women's football is a constantly growing movement, we are still far from reaching the levels of economic and regulatory protection and security already present for men.
On a national and international level there are more and more voices that require specific measures to remove these obstacles. In Norway, amid a thousand controversies, a law on gender quotas has been instituted. Thanks to it, the percentage of women in CDA of national companies went from 7% in 2002 to 44% in 2010.
'I'm not the next Bolt or Phelps, I'm the first Simone Biles.'
If women watch and play sports, why can't they direct it? Why can't sport and women be on the same track?
Sport and women: professional darkness
The inclusion of women in the world of sport is directly proportional to social evolution. The acceptance of women in new areas, inaccessible until recently, also extends to the sports area.
The progress and development of Italian society in recent decades has been dizzying. Social preconceptions that have been rooted in common opinion for too long have been demolished, although we are still far from having completely eliminated the gender gap and stereotypes about women.
To fight the sexist attitudes and the conservative ideas that hold back evolution you have to start from school, with the participation of active professors who teach the values of social equality ensuring quality education.
Mentions of women's sport in newspapers and on television are still scarce or inaccurate. Press, radio and television continue to reserve most of their space for sporting achievements, all for men.
The woman is often left in the background in the sports sections press and television news, condemning it to a very low level as in other areas, starting with advertising.
The media project a female model far removed from sports, women in skimpy clothes or simply naked. A policy destined, apparently, to attract a public more interested in openly sexist content and strictly sports information.
“The world is full of mediocre men in every position. Women can never be mediocre, they have to be the best. '
Psychosocial context in women's sports practice
Women are most affected by physical inactivity, consequently they could reap more benefits from sports . It therefore becomes very interesting to discover the factors most often associated with sporting activity among women.
The lack of media attention on sporting women or the distorted vision transmitted have serious consequences in the education of girls. The vision of sport that arrives in schools and homes is too often told from a purely male point of view.
Many women have a distorted interpretation of the percentage of female participation in the world of sport. The models to follow , the reference points, the right information.
It is not easy to find charismatic sports women who can be an example to follow in the training phase of the youngest ones. Sport and women does not seem to be a captivating combination for society, except on the occasions described above.
For the reasons given, for a little girl it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine a future in which to undertake one sports career and collect the results of their competitive efforts. In many cases, sport and training are the exclusive subject of male companions.
“There will always be criticism, you have to learn to trust and love yourself. When you build a barrier of trust around you, criticism will bounce back. '
Codina, N., & Pestana, J. V. (2012). Study of the relationship of the psychosocial environment in women's sports practice. Journal of sport psychology , twenty-one (2), 243-251.
García, A. (2006). Historical and social evolution of the presence of women in physical practice and sport. Readings: Physical Education and Sports , (99), 10.
Ibáñez, E. (2001). Information on women's sport: The great oblivion. Apunts. Physical education and sports , 3 (65), 111-113.