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How the scales of inequality a

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How the scales of inequality a


I am using the sports industry as a medium to illustrate how the scales of inequality are weighted in favour of males. In particular, we are looking at the ways in which women are breaking through the barriers into areas that could not have been envisaged fifty years ago.

The sports industry is extremely diverse and is currently experiencing rapid growth and development. The industry''s profits run into billions each year. The business of sport has certainly not been immune or isolated from gender inequalities.

Traditionally, professional sports management has been the exclusive realm of males. Sport is often regarded as one of societies most traditional male institutions. However, one of the most important phrases of the ''90''s'' has been ''gender inequality''. This involves offering equal opportunities to both men and women to participate in sport.

The table below illustrates just how little coverage women''s sport receives in the media:

The Times Daily Express Guardian Daily Telegraph

April 5 3 2 4

May 4 2 3 3

June 7 8 5 5

Given the changing face of the international workforce, sports managers must now make ethical decisions regarding hiring in order to make the management of sport both more appealing and available to women. Although recent changes within sports leagues, such as professional women''s football has opened the doors to women 'V it is found that they rarely attain positions of power and wealth. It could still be argued that women have not been accepted into the industry, as the roles offered within it tend to be opposed to the typical ''ideology of women''.

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world with over 117 million players across 175 countries. There are now over 8 million women playing the game worldwide. It is no longer just a sport for men. Speed, agility and tenacity are among the most important factors for success in soccer. All of these are qualities that women have in abundance.

And not only are women becoming more prominent as soccer players, they are also breaking the closed ranks of refereeing. In September, huge progress was made in the field of female refereeing when, for the first time in the world, control of a senior mens' match was placed entirely in the hands of women. Wendy Toms refereed a Nationwide Conference match with the assistance of Janie Framptom and Amy Raynor running the lines. Brendan Phillips, the manager of one of the teams involved commented after the match on how impressed he was with the quality of the officials. And it is perhaps worth pointing out at this point how rare it is for referees to be praised, especially by football managers!

Other successful women in soccer include:

'h Karen Brady 'V Birmingham City Managing Director

'h Gaby Yorath 'V Football presenter and player

On top of these advances made in soccer, a major step was recently taken in female boxing when, in America, a female fought against a male and won the fight. However, cynics might suggest that the fight was more of a publicity stunt than a fair contest. A newspaper report on this landmark contest can be found in Appendix I. Also in female boxing, Laila the 21-year-old daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali recently entered the history books when she took part in a professional boxing bout. Again, a newspaper article on this event can be found in Appendix I.

The Early Years

Stereotyping identifies a gender role at a very early age and can be traced back to the family - in particular, mother / child relations. Bandura illustrates that young children acquire sex role behaviours through imitation, identification and observation of parents, teachers, media, personality and peers. Sex differences are reinforced through the pattern of childhood games for example, if a girl was given ''Action Men'' to play with, although they may play with them for some time, they will have a natural tendency to favour toys that will encourage their traditional female roles. The continued existence of toys such as ''A La Carte Kitchen'', ''Barbie and Ken'' and ''Cindy'' simply reinforce the stereotype typically associated with women in the past is still present in a huge way.

It has been suggested that society in general, and schools in particular, have led girls to lower their aspirations for no good reason. In primary school it is often found that the Physical Education lessons involved either no provision whatsoever for ''girl orientated'' sports (for instance Netball), or the girls were encouraged (or forced) to get involved in ''male orientated'' sports such as football or rounders. There was little provision for girls who didn''t wish to participate in these sports, with the best

alternative being a skipping rope. Women aren''t encouraged to compete as speed, power and excitement are all games associated predominately with males. They see themselves as being suited to work which is of a different nature and less prestigious than that of their male counterparts.

Part of the reason for the concentration on ''male orientated'' sports in schools, ...

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Keywords: how inequality is measured, how is inequality created, how is the state of inequalities in the world, how is equality measured

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