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Title [Voices of Youth] Power of Sports on Women Empowerment
Sport is a significant tool to empower women and girls. It has been recognized as a force to empower and enhance women's voices, which helps to tackle gender barriers and discrimination. Women in sports must bear many institutional, and political challenges due to the erroneous understanding and myth that they are weak or unable. Meanwhile, sports not only demonstrate physical strength but also allow for participation in leadership, strategic thinking, stepping toward gender equality, and so on. These can help fight gender stereotypes, improve girls' and women's self-esteem and contribute to the development of leadership skills. However, women and girls continue to face discrimination in access to sports as athletes and spectators as well as inequalities in professional sports, sports media coverage, and sponsorship. This evokes the question on the minds of many women, ‘Are women really this weak?’, ‘Are women really unable to make their voice heard?’ Women really can be strategic leaders like men. Women equally deserve respect as men in every sector. It is known that all-natural phenomenon is incomplete without the equal presence of men and women. So why do women have to face discrimination in society, organizations, leadership positions?
The interesting fact is Women’s participation at all levels can challenge and change the social norms, cultures, values and capabilities. But all the positive changes and gender-equal practices will not be achieved with limited participation of women in leadership. Many, based on their traditional and cultural beliefs argue that women should not be the leader. It is often said that gender stereotypes come from traditional practices that affect all aspects of women's lives and that it gives power to the beliefs in the inability of women to peruse leadership positions in all sectors. Much have improved in the sports sector; Roles are no longer based on gender, most policy makers in the sports organization support gender equality, and working environment for women has changed. The people in leadership positions today have the power to influence policy and decision-making. To improve the access of women to top level and leadership position, it is necessary to support the teaching of life skills, capacity building and training, women empowerment training and access to better education, including sports training and awareness program from childhood. Hence, to achieve all these target, quality physical education for all needs to be globally practiced. As we all know sports is only an open forum if it allows for the participation of all and different religion, sex, color, values and beliefs.
Participation in sports has proven to be a factor for the development of skills to raising confident and capable persons who could be future leaders. Hence, reaching out to experienced and successful women in various sports and different areas can be a way to increase women’s participation while creating a platform or an international campaign, in which webinars provide a way to maximize participation. These will provide opportunities for women to openly engage in communication, presentation and exchange of their own ideas regardless of any barriers women face due to cultural backgrounds. It is also important for both men and women to be included in these attempts to promote gender-equal participation in a leadership position in the sports organization. Lastly all this will be possible if women develop a positive attitude and refill themselves with self-motivation and trust in their empowerment and participation in sports to play the most important role.
※ Opinion in this writing are the author's own.