Inequality in the sport’s world

Candela Francoso Canete

Women have been discriminated against in the sport’s world since the beginning of this, in 776 BC. Not only in sports terms like not letting women participate as athletes or even as spectators, but in the way women get paid for performing in these. Even though this issue is becoming more popular over the years and is being talked about, the problem is still there, and that leads us to think of what are the real causes of this problem. 

Causes of the problem. 

One of the reasons this is happening is because of women’s late entrance to the sport’s world, which was, in fact, caused by the discrimination and the gender restrictions women were living. That made that the first time ever women were allowed to play sports just for enjoyment was by the end of the 19th century. Thanks to JCRWS we know that sports such as horseback riding, archery, golf, or tennis were the only ones they were allowed to participate in.  The first time for female athletes to participate in what we know today as the Olympic Games was the second Olympic Games in 1900, and even though it was a really big progress, only 12 female athletes participated out of the 1066 athletes who were competing. 

Another of the reasons people use to discredit women’s sports is saying that their performances are not as good as men’s are. Yet it is true that if we compare men and women physiologically, men will have better sports abilities, like greater muscle mass, better strength levels or bigger cardiorespiratory capacity than women, these can not be used to pay one gender better than the other. 


Statistics from the newspaper ‘semana’  says that the average salary gap between women and men in the world is around 80%, depending on the sport, which is such an impressive difference. To be more concrete, forbes’ 2020 top of best paid athletes let us know that the male athlete that was highest paid was Roger Federer, earning a total of 106 million. On the other hand, the female athlete highest paid was Naomi Osaka with total earnings of $37.4 million. And this huge difference is only one of the thousand examples that exist about this unfair situation. 

And this problem is so much bigger than just the money part.  “I think this is a real problem that affects women in so many ways. It is not just about the money, it is about everything that is behind that (sexism) that sometimes we forget is there.” says Isabel Francoso, tenista de Los Alcázares Tennis Club. 

Teenagers and little girls are also affected by this problem. Girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have, says the WSF.  This fact makes it really clear that since childhood, more importance is given to boy’s sports, making it seem that girls’ sports are not as important, and so, giving less attention to it. 

There is still a lot more to do to resolve this issue, because we, as a society, are way too far yet to get solutions for this wage gap; and even though it seems impossible sometimes, women are everyday a little step closer to finish with this, and get one for all this equality that they have been waiting for so long.