Traditionally, women’s sports have tended to be overlooked, a fact that makes no sense to the women playing or the people watching. Whether it’s soccer, tennis, surfing, wrestling, or any other sport, women’s contributions have largely been ignored.
Women’s football was banned in the United Kingdom back in 1921 and was only legalized 50 years later, but has just started to receive the attention it had prior to the ban which shows the long-lasting effects of that decision. Unfortunately, women aren’t able to participate in sports in some parts of the world, but thankfully, things are starting to change.
This year saw the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup take place in France. It was only the eighth edition of the World Cup. The men’s World Cup, on the other hand, has been running since 1930, and has had 21 tournaments. There is good news, though. Even if you’re not a football fan, you probably heard of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Instead of being treated like a poor imitation of the men’s World Cup, this year’s tournament was promoted and treated with the prestige it deserves. In case you need any proof, this year’s tournament broke ratings records, with viewers tuning in across the globe to watch teams battling it out, and to eventually watch Team USA lift the trophy. It made history, as this year, for the first time, one billion viewers watched the tournament.
Even sports and games that were traditionally the reserve of women have had a surge of interest in recent years. Bingo, for example, has for a long time been associated with elderly women. Now, though, young people will go out and spend an evening playing it with friends. Men and women alike can also play it on their phones or laptops, playing for fun and for prizes thanks to online bingo offers at Lucky Pants Bingo or other websites.
Extreme sports are often seen as the reserve of men, and not women, but this isn’t the case, and there are women athletes working hard to break that stereotype. Whether it’s surfing, rock-climbing, paragliding, or anything else that could be considered an adventure sport, you’ll find a woman doing it. Some of the best surfers in the world, for example, have been women such as Layne Beachley and Stephanie Gilmore, but there’s never been much equality in the sport. Late last year, the World Surf League finally announced that the cash prizes in its competitions would be the same for men and women. It’s an announcement that’s better late than never, and it’s a step in the right direction.
Tennis has often been called a gender-neutral sport. Women can compete in all categories, and some of the most successful tennis players ever are women, like Steffi Graff and Serena Williams. Earlier this year, Forbes released their list of the world’s top 100 highest-paid athletes, and Serena Williams was on there at number 63, with an estimated worth of $29.2 million. Unfortunately, she’s also the only woman on the list, which shows there’s still work to be done.
Women’s sports are clearly prospering, in a way that they never have before. This rise in popularity doesn’t show any sign of slowing down or stopping, and hopefully it won’t.