By Athena Constantinou, Managing Director, APC Sports Consulting, Nicosia, Cyprus
The place of women in sport – especially elite sport – has long been a controversial matter inviting attention.
However, times seem to be changing for the better and not – it may be said – before time.
So, what is empowerment generally?
Empowerment is the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired outcomes and actions.
Empowerment is a process through which an individual becomes an agent of change. Put more simply: it is the can-do factor, going from “I can’t” to “I can”.
Empowering women is powerful.
Today, we know it is the key to economic growth, political stability and social transformation.
In the context of sport, female empowerment is the missing link to greater stability, greater diversity and increased sport excellence.
Several professional leagues are pushing for female empowerment and promoting the need for women to acquire the status of an equal partner with men in sport.
More than ever before, young women today have more choices and more control in their lives – in education, for example, but less in career choices.
Women in sport wish to change and improve their careers and income, as well as their personal development: physical, menta and habitual. To do so, they need the support of institutions, including sports governing bodies, male counterparts, governments and society as a whole. For example, the IOC has set up a ‘Women in Sport Commission’ with the express purpose of promoting equal opportunities for women to participate in sport and benefit from sport and physical activity (see https://www.olympic.org/women-in-sport-commission). Also, FIFA has recognised the problem and intends to invest between $400-500 million during the next 3 years in the development and promotion of women’s football (see post of 13 June 2019 by Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw on the GSLTR website).
Above all, women must identify this need themselves, through self-awareness.
Quite a challenge for all concerned in achieving a ‘level playing field’ for women in sport!
For more information on female empowerment in sport, how it can be achieved and its effects on female athletes, log onto ‘www.moneysmartathlete.com’.
Athena Constantinou may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.