In all areas of sports across the world, there has been gradual progress made for female representation and participation, however the push for more women to engage in different sports has been a process that has lasted centuries and taken incredible amounts of effort over the decades. For example, the modern Olympics only had female competitors from 1900 onward, although women initially participated in considerably fewer events than men. At the time, women first made their appearance in the Olympic Games in Paris in 1900, during which, 22 women competed in tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian, and golf. Similarly, women’s football may now seem like a modern sport (with the Women’s Football Association having formed as late as the 1960’s), it has actually existed since the 19th century. However, in the earlier years of the sport, female players struggled against systemic prejudice and the widespread view at the time that women should not be playing football.
However, comparing that to modern day more women than ever before ran, jumped, swam, shot, flipped, hit and pedalled their way to glory. Back during the 2016 Summer Olympics, out of more than 11,000 athletes who came to compete in Rio, 45% were women, with many female athletes having become household names in their respective sports.
The groundbreaking gender equity law made a lasting impact by increasing the participation of girls and women in athletics. Title IX, the landmark gender equity law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, banned sex discrimination in federally funded education programs.
The sport of boxing has seen some incredible achievements recently, with Claressa Shields making history as the only ever boxer (out of both male and female categories) to simultaneously hold all 4 major world titles in boxing, namely the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO.