Representation of Women In Sports

During early 2015, a news article got over shadowed by other important current affairs. Luckily, I read that piece of news and the Wikipedian in me jumped to get the information published on the online encyclopedia.

I took my sweet time; researched a bit, read many more news articles and found about Bhakti Sharma before expanding the Wikipedia article. Not just that, on the advise of a senior Wikipedian, I also submitted my first DYK (Did You Know) . Now DYKs are hard as one needs to check for word limits, valid references, and do all that within a defined period else it gets too late to call it a Did You Know.

Women In Sports

Women In Sports

While I was proud of being able to submit a nomination that also got featured, what I failed to realize at that time was a very simple thing. How come I, a fairly new Wikipedian who edits on and off, got the chance to submit a nomination? And then it struck me.

Wikipedia is a reliable source and volunteers all over the world edit pages round the clock. Most of the times edits on famous news articles or personalities are made almost the instant the information is available. The not so popular ones take time. That’s exactly what happened with Bhakti Sharma.

On January 10, 2015, she became the youngest in the world and first Asian girl to swim in freezing water of Antarctica for 2.25 km, beating the earlier record. She swam for 52 minutes, covering 2.25 km distance in the freezing waters of Antarctica while the temperature was one degree.

Source: Wikipedia

Women in sports do not get as much attention and representation in media. We worship Cricket and treat cricketers as God. Around the world soccer is another sport that’s popular. I know people take off to follow the FIFA world cup and watch every single match. You know Sachin Tendulkar and you also know Manish Pandey who recently scored a century and led India to victory in a one-day match with Australia.

How many of you know Bhakti Sharma? How many of you know that Geeta Phogat won India’s first ever gold medal in women’s wrestling in the 55 kg freestyle category at the 2010 Commonwealth Games? Do you know Becky Hammon is the first female full-time assistant coach in the history of NBA.

There are many other women like Bhakti, Geeta and Becky and we don’t know of their achievements. We may have not even heard of them.

I am not generalizing and I am aware that things are changing. I am aware that Saina Nehwal gets endorsements and Sania Mirza is a celebrity. I am aware more women are running marathons and learning how to coach. But how many women commentators are out there? How many women sports journalists do you read and follow? Is it the skill or the will? Is it the opportunity women can take up or the lack of it?

Something is not right but we fail to notice it. 

I want a world where when I get to edit an article on a sportswoman, I see it’s already done. A day when the news of a world record by a woman makes it as big as a man. Where the news is news and it’s gender neutral.

Do you think it’s possible?

I won the third prize in the contest by The Sports Mirror Blogging Contest in association with Blogchatter!’

This blog was posted in response to the The Sports Mirror Blogging Contest in association with Blogchatter!’

10 Responses

  1. Aseem says:

    Oh Bhakti Sharma’s feat is really amazing! I myself didn’t know about her.

    As far as women commentators or women journalists (Eg: in cricket) are concerned, a lot of them are coming up but even then for a lot of people these journos are sadly just seen as those who can attract more audiences rather than give proper analysis on the matches. And that’s what needs to change as well!

  2. Garima Nag says:

    Many women achievers are living an anonymous life. All they need is support & recognition. Irony is they have none. Nicely Written Parul.
    Garima Nag recently posted…Haeundae Beach: The Most Gorgeous Beach Of South KoreaMy Profile

  3. U K says:

    Nice researched post. Would love to know more about all the three. Thanks.

  4. ajay says:

    Your dedicated researched is what inspired me.

  5. rajlakshmi says:

    We have to fight everywhere don’t we… its so tiring at times, to make everyone understand the importance of women in different fields. Kudos to you for taking time to research on Bhakti Sharma. Even I didn’t know about her 🙁

  6. Rajiv Bakshi says:

    Parul , you are perfectly right . I am reading paper for last 50 years but I never knew the names of women sport person you mentioned . I only know Sania Mirza , Saina Nehwal , P T Usha , Badminton star Sindhu & a few others . But I think you missed one women cricketer who gives commentary on cricket . And the TV STAR what’s her name : who took TV World by storm a few years back .

  7. Somali says:

    Hope it is possible in the near future. Of the three names, I knew only about Geeta Phogat.

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