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No matter how talented female Olympians are, they can never outperform the disproportion to escape from the clutches of inequalities.

Today, we live in a world that is run by technology. Despite all the progress we have witnessed over the years, there is still one grossly disappointing thing. It is the inequality that the women of our society are still subject to. It is the discrimination that female Olympians fall prey to. And all of these factors are put together to bring us to the million-dollar question- has the world progressed? Or is it just a delusional space that we all are a part of?

As much as we hate to rant about the rights that female athletes deserve, it is undoubtedly true that female Olympians do not get half the recognition as male athletes. 

In this article, we have listed some of the hurdles faced, especially by female Olympians. Please continue reading to learn more about it.

Also read: Women's Equality in Sports

Challenges Faced by Female Olympians
Challenges Faced by Female Olympians

Challenges Faced by Female Olympians

Be it at home or work, women often have to deal with the casks of light-hearted chauvinism. A society with its hawk eyes never fails to monitor women’s activities. Even though women are inscribing and exacting their unalienable rights, in not just physical but also virtual actuality, the truth is that a lot still needs to be done for women to achieve the same amount of respect as their complacent male peers.

If you observe, you will realize that female Olympians are never seen together with male Olympians on a playing field. Women athletes are expected to get through four significant obstacles that men never have to deal with because of being men.

Taking a trip back in time, we see that the fight for recognition of women’s rights had started long back when women were not even allowed to participate in Olympics as our society, with its injected patriarchal mindset, argued about sports being men-centric. However, after an eternity of constant struggles and a fight for equality, women were finally allowed to participate in the Olympics in 1900.

But that was not it. With traditional beliefs still playing a majority role in the selection of women in the sports teams, women continued to face discrimination and were barred from participating in various locations. Today, for female Olympians, 2022 has witnessed a significant change, with over 5000 women participating from all across the globe as against 22 female participants back in 1990.

That said, we might have won the battle of considering women athletes as capable and equal to men, but the fight for fostering equal pay for them continues. Despite proving their supremacy over their smug male competitors time and again, female Olympians are paid much less for the victories they keep mopping up for their nations. 

It has been observed that even the most competent female athletes could not bridge the prevailing gender gap between men and women. While women athletes should be deemed a wellspring of pride and gratification, accomplishing a gender-neutral sports environment is still a distant dream. 

There is very little doubt that sports are invariably analogous to males. That public raves more about the fitness regimes of male athletes than taking pride in sports performed by women. The conventional media does not even cover 10% of the women-oriented sports on their pages. 

As a reader and observer, it is obvious to feel the rage and fury against the stereotypes and give rants about it, only to forget it after a while. But for women athletes who face these hurdles every day, it is a lot more than just forgiving and forgetting. These women athletes are ensnared in the perpetual battle for their setting in the world of sports, which they are rightfully entitled to but are deprived of.

  • Gross wage discrepancies are the first grave matter of concern for female Olympians. The same holds true for the prize money as well. As already discussed, women are not paid according to their abilities but according to their gender, which is disturbing and demotivating. A men’s team is paid three times more than a woman’s sports team. We do not have to cite the reasons for this level of discrimination separately. Nobody has to be a galactic mathematician to be able to calculate the differences. They are visibly clear even to a non-specialist.
  • Female Olympians remain underrepresented to date. Ask anybody the names of the world’s famous footballers; they would not have to think twice before naming them. But ask them about the list of female Olympians; you will find them scratching their heads. Such is the kind of disparity that female Olympians are subjected to. Instead of working on their troubled mindset, society never leaves an opportunity to paint female athletes as shameful.
  • Even though sports policies are very “race-neutral,” the ill-treatment that black female Olympians are subject to goes unnoticed. With its deep-rooted racism and misogyny, our society does everything in its ability to prevent a black woman athlete from becoming the epitome of success. Why is it so? Is it because they are not living up to society’s “set standards of beauty?” or because society thinks of them as incompetent. Whatever the reason, it is high time that more stringent rules are enforced to give women of color the recognition they deserve in the sports industry.
  • Even some of the best-looking female Olympians are externalized and objectified on the sports fields as they are on the roads. Is it all that women deserve? To be treated as commodities instead of being looked upon as normal humans with potential and talent? Many women athletes complain about how their professional success is associated with their looks instead of their talents. 

Also read: Women Athletes from the Tokyo Olympics

The chances of success for female athletes will always remain bleak if our society takes no initiative to recognize them because of their talents. 

These are a few of the many hurdles that female Olympians are faced daily. We might not have been able to do justice to them because we would never know unless we stepped in their shoes. 

However, female Olympians continue to rise despite these challenges and hardships, making new records with their strong will and hope. It is only ignorant to assume that equality could be achieved overnight, but yes, we can always look forward to better times.

What are your thoughts?