Glitter magazine | Women in sports: finally getting the recognition they deserve

For years, women's sports were sidelined while men dominated the sporting world.  However, their perseverance and determination finally earn them the long-awaited attention.
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For years, women’s sports were sidelined while men dominated the sporting world. However, their perseverance and determination finally earn them the long-awaited attention.

Men have always been allowed to play competitive sports. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that women could compete in racing, even then without much of the same accommodations and recognition as men.

Surprisingly, The Daily Utah Chronicle reveals that female coaches in college sports earn an average of $100,000 less than their male counterparts. This stark wage disparity, coupled with the historic underrepresentation of women in media reporting, is a clear injustice that demands our attention and action.

The lack of coverage of female athletes not only impacts revenues, the quality of the sport and its production, but also reinforces the hypermasculinity of the sports industry. News outlets, social media, and general coverage of women’s sports have established the idea that men are superior athletes, and lately, women may finally be proving this stereotype wrong.

Cecile Landi, an Olympic gymnast who now coaches Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, describes how she has seen progress for women in many areas of sports. Landi states: “Men have always had more airtime on television, but this is changing. Women are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve.” Landi also said, “I think things are going in the right direction because women are breaking boundaries and records.”

Landi isn’t wrong at all when she points out that women are setting insane records and pushing boundaries, and this has been on display in a big way lately in women’s basketball.

It is a triumph to witness the phenomenal change in women’s basketball. Take Caitlin Clark, a name that resonates with many. From playing for the Iowa University women’s basketball team to representing the WNBA Indiana Fever team, she has broken numerous national records, been named number one overall for the WNBA and has even surpassed legendary player Pete Maravich in total number of career points. This is just a fraction of her remarkable achievements.

Moreover, Clark has brought media attention like no other. When they played for Iowa, the school’s home games increased noticeably, and every school that would compete against them also saw a 150% increase. Her athletic talent has not only broken records, but also many stereotypes surrounding women in sports.

It would be impossible not to mention the 2024 NCAA women’s tournament between Iowa and Louisiana State University. A showdown that yielded a record number of 16.1 million views. A game that left the hype far behind, a night for the ages, and reportedly had the best crowd of any men’s vs. women’s college basketball game ever. It was the most-watched college basketball game on ESPN since game seven of the 2018 National Basketball Association Eastern Conference finals.

Additionally, strong, talented women like Serena Williams (tennis player), Simone Biles (gymnast), Gretchen Bleiler (snowboarder), and Faith Kipyegon (middle-distance runner) are breaking the glass ceilings for women around the world.

While these extraordinary women are paving the way for future generations of women, and women’s sports are finally gaining real recognition, there is still a long way to go. By advocating equality, reducing stereotypes and showing how remarkable women are, we can collectively help reshape the narrative of not just women’s sports, but femininity in general.