Football – and Invisible Women

I’d better ‘fess up –  I am a woman’s coach but it’s very much of the sedentary kind. I am not a fan of football and groan whenever some big tournament is on and TV coverage comes over all macho for what seems like a days on end. Although, in fairness I should add it is refreshing to see one or two female presenters in this area now. That would have been unthinkable a decade or so ago ago; it’s an improvement, but it still feels like it’s letting the women join in with the men.

A better representation would be if women’s sports were given an equal billing, if there were no gender bias in sports coverage.

Oh I know the riposte will be:

Well, no one is interested in women’s sports. If there was an audience (for which read if it made money), we’d give it more coverage“.

They used to say that about women’s tennis too: if half the resources thrown at male sports were given to women I don’t think it would be long before an audience would be found. What’s lacking is the will.

Which is very surprising as Sue Tibballs, Chief Executive of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation says that women’s football has as many women playing it as there are men who play rugby. And just think of the coverage that gets! Sue made her comment on a BBC radio show and the presenter retorted with:

Well, all those of you who whinge about lack of coverage of women’s sports should get down to see the game live.”

Ahem, isn’t that entirely missing the point?

PS If you’re interested you can download the Football/s Association’s strategy for women and girls here

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Posted on July 6th, 2012 by

One Response to “Football – and Invisible Women”

  1. Gill Cooper says:

    I couldn’t agree more Jane. Lack of coverage means that sponsors look elsewhere for exposure. And lack of funding prevents women from reaching their full potential.

    A recent report shows that sponsorship of women’s sport in the UK makes up 0.5% of the total market.

    This compares to 61% for men over the same period, between January 2010 and August this year. The remainder of the money goes to mixed sports.

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