Women and Football

  • Voice of the people

Jun 22, 2018-

The World Cup kicked off to a start on June 14, and has since then grasped the attention and enthusiasm of citizens around the globe. However, for me it is just another reminder of how male-dominated the sport actually is (“Love for football unites world”, June 15, Page 1). Whilst it is true that women have made progress, and the world is striving to create a more inclusive sports arena, we cannot deny the statistics. In the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, more than a billion fans tuned in to watch, with the entire competition attracting a total of a 3.2 billion in-home television audience, according to final figures from FIFA and Kantar Media; whereas only 750 million television viewers watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. Football may be great force in uniting countries, keeping all of their differences aside, but we are still waiting for the day when women’s World Cup tournaments aren’t deemed “boring” in comparison to the men’s. So to create such an inviting arena, we must encourage our daughters to get up and play the same way we do so for our sons.

The gender disproportion in the overall sports sector is overwhelming. So why is it that women’s sports attract lesser audiences and lesser public interests. To answer this, we need to take into account a number of key factors. For as long as women and girls can remember, we have grown up believing that boys genuinely do play sports better. This notion gets ingrained into young minds, by what we call a “social construct.” One 2014 survey of 37 countries found that every one men were more likely to play some kind of sport than women. Insults like “You play like a girl,” or “You throw like a girl,” are still being used constantly, and are still deemed insults. This does more than just discourage girls, it fuels the very notion that boys do, in fact play better than girls. The entire nature vs. nurture debate applies to this as well. The way we act depends either on how we were raised, or on our genes. However I believe that if you grow up hearing a belief for too long, you slowly start believing it. The way we were nurtured affects our nature. Due to these reasons, we have not given much thought to the media coverage and the sponsorship deals that women’s sports are getting, or more accurately, not getting. Notions like these influence not just us, but our surroundings as well. So this World Cup, men, take time to encourage the female counterparts around you, deconstruct pre-conceived notions, as well as prioritise young girls in the sports arena. And women, believe in yourselves however difficult it may be, because I certainly do. Then who knows, a few years from now, the FIFA Women’s World Cup might just get the same buzz as the men’s.

- Priya Rajbhandary

Sunakothi

 

FOOTBALL FEVER

Football mania is sweeping the entire globe. Needless to say, Fifa World Cup brings the entire people of the globe to common platform  (‘Love for football unites world’, June 15, Page 1). This summer’s carnival of Fifa World Cup has engulfed almost everyone. FIFA World Cup is one of the delectable and engrossing sporting events of the world in which as many as 32 participants vie for the football’s most fancied coveted title. During the World Cup even an introvert like me communicates with strangers to converse about stories of football. I have now come to realise that football conquers above all regardless of the nature of an individual. However, brutal and nefarious acts in the name of supporting one’s country and team are worrisome. Insularity and chauvinism isn’t the spirit of the game of football. That’s why, everyone of us ought to learn to act responsibly and respect each other’s sentiments.

- Sanjog Karki,

Tansen, Palpa

Published: 22-06-2018 08:03

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