Women empowerment in sport

Just how much does sport empower Women?

Female empowerment is a critical aspect in achieving gender equality. Sports acts as one of the greatest driving forces behind increasing a woman’s sense of self-worth, her decision-making power, her access to opportunities and resources, her power and control over her own life inside and outside the home, and her ability to effect change. By teaching women and girls the values of teamwork, self-confidence and resistance, sport can provide girls with social connections and a refuge from violence in their homes and communities. help them to understand their bodies and build confidence and the ability to speak up, particularly during adolescence and while the pressure to conform to traditional “feminine” stereotypes leads to many girls to abandon sport entirely. RUPFS is now in its eighth year as a society and is one of the most popular societies that University of Reading has to offer.

Pole fitness is a great form of exercise which improves your strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination and as showcased by President of the pole fitness society Zoe, who proudly claims that ‘Taking ownership of the sexual stereotypes pole has and turning it into a powerful, psychical sport’ it has allowed her to mould her place as a woman in the twenty-first century despite Pole not being considered a sport. Many argue that Pole Fitness should be accepted as one by getting rid of the stereotypes through social media and encouraging people to join to improve their strength and agility. Pole is recognised as a female dominated sport therefore encouraging guys to get involved or come along to a session to experience pole fitness so that some of those stereotypes are abandoned.

Girls and women face a disproportionate amount of life challenges that diminish their capacity to accomplish their full potential, however, by ‘creating a welcoming environment in ‘our’ classes that are run at various times throughout the week. class options for beginner, intermediate, and advanced polers.’, physical activity programs provide openings for addressing discrimination faced by particular groups of girls and women. Sport and physical activity programs targeting girls and women have proven that this often-isolated group, provides a stress release as they are confronted with their abilities rather than their infirmities through sport and physical activity participation. The chance to meet other girls and women in similar circumstances as themselves allows them opportunities to share experiences and to learn about issues that they are often deprived of knowledge about such as those relating to reproductive health. Olivia Gates, Welfare officer of the Cheer society and Paddy Green Co-president highlighted how ‘Girls are just as psychically fit as guys and that needs to be recognized’ and ‘there needs to be a movement against the stigma of having a certain body image to be able to cheer’ as it creates a feeling of freedom whilst also providing an escape from the tedious act of attending online lectures. Moreover, many sport and physical activity programmes have taken measures to bring together communities and realize development objectives relating to sexual and reproductive health, access to employment and peace and reconciliation.

Written by Natalie Sweiss


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