Posted by: writersblock7 | October 2, 2009

An excerpt from an article

The Evolution of Women In Sport

In Ancient times and in the Victorian era, women were discouraged from watching and participating in physical activity. This view was held because a woman was supposed to be passive, obedient and attractive to her male friends. Traditionally men have dominated sport. In fact, it was often argued that sport was harmful to women. This attitude has changed dramatically especially since the 1960s when the women’s liberation movement strongly demanded equality for women.

Australia in the modern age is a nation extremely interested in sport. Sport unites us as people as we play and discuss sporting events together. Gradually women and children have added their numbers to the ‘sporting religion’ of Australia. In 1987, the Women and Sportunit was developed to increase participation and community awareness of the importance of physical activity to females.

Sport holds a significant place in our society, as does the media which is responsible for communicating the importance of sport in our lives. Just as sport is critical to the media, the media is critically important to sport. Although women have made significant contributions to Australian sport, female athletes have yet to achieve equality with men in the media. In terms of coverage a few years ago, women athletes were almost invisible. In a report titled Empowering Women In Sports, it was found that in ‘1993 only 5 per cent of televised sports news covered women’s sports’. This was virtually the same percentage as in 1989. The report’s findings also mentioned that in the print media, a study of four major newspapers found that fewer than 5 per cent of all sports stories were devoted to women only. Today, although sports media coverage still favours men, there is increasing attention being paid to women in sport. Television coverage of the Olympic Games has increased respect for female athletes and brought them into the limelight. Women’s sporting performances have improved as a result of more competition and improved media attention.

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