Women and other non-binary genders have been at the receiving end of centuries of gender-based discrimination. While sports is one platform that leaves behind all the bars of caste, gender and race, there is stark gender discrimination visible. In most spheres, 'sport' has been glorified for its positive values like cooperation, mutual respect, equality and team spirit. Any discrimination based on gender or sexuality against athletes is against the very nature of any game.
Research suggests that enough women drop out of a sport they wish to take up professionally because the sport is considered non-feminine. Unfortunately, the sporting arena is where people might be vulnerable to violence and harassment because of their known or assumed sexuality.
Indian Women At Tokyo
While several national and international sporting platforms are focussing on hosting events of women and transgender people, local level competitions are still adamant about being gender-inclusive. For the Tokyo Olympics that recently concluded, 56 women athletes were representing the country. India is one of the countries that has profited the most from its surge in women athletes. The ability of sports to bring together people is not discussed enough in social circles.
In the recent turn of events, women athletes have emerged as changemakers in the Olympics. Simone Biles dropped out of the women's finals for gymnastics. Boxer Mirabai Chanu opened India's medal tally by winning silver. There is no denying the fact that gender-inclusive sports would be a positive step in every aspect. Sports competitions can help women overcome the inferiority complex they have been feeling because of body objectivity. Developing physical skills can help women be confident about their capabilities.
The value of equal participation in sports is undeniable. A study on gender in sports mentioned that apart from fighting to begin playing, women are also considered to give up their sporting careers when they get married and have a baby. Raising a child or looking after the family is not a one-person job. A progressive mindset and inclusive participation benefits fair play and holds up the integrity with which a sporting competition is being hosted.