How many sports stars can you name? Whether it's five, ten, or thirty, I imagine that 90% of them would be male. Even in today's society, which claims to have gender equality, it seems that female sports stars simply don't get the same coverage as their male counterparts.
Already, the anticipation is building for the 2016 FIFA World Cup, which will take place next summer in Brazil. But how many people are aware of the fact that the FIFA Women's World Cup has just taken place in Canada? The US team were crowned the winners, after beating the Japanese team 5-2 in the final. England even managed to secure third place! By contrast, the England team in the men's FIFA World Cup rarely make the quarter finals. Whilst the FIFA World Cup enjoys prime-time TV slots, shown on most BBC channels, the FIFA Women's World Cup is sidelined, with little to no media coverage. The only time it made the news here was when an English player scored an own goal!
The inequality doesn't end with football. Just recently, Caroline Wozniacki (a top Danish tennis player) complained that women don't get the same chance as men to play on the show courts (Centre Court and Court 1) at Wimbledon. In this case, I think it's luck of the draw - the further you get in the competition, the more likely you are to play on the show courts. In the opening stages, it is true that it is often only the very best players will play their matches on the show courts. Women's tennis (particularly at Wimbledon) does get a lot of coverage, though many complain that it isn't as exciting to watch.
During the 2012 London Olympics, a lot of effort was made by female sports stars to promote women's involvement in sport. Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott promoted cycling whilst Jessica Ennis became a household name for her success in the heptathlon. Rebecca Adlington, a former Olympic swimmer, encouraged women to break boundaries and achieve their goals.
Whilst women's sport is often overlooked, I think that this is slowly starting to change. In the UK, there is a campaign called This Girl Can, which aims to get girls and women back into sport, regardless of their age, size, shape or sporting ability. Hopefully this campaign will encourage more people to take up sport (and enjoy it!) and help reduce our nation's health problems.
Note from Editor: If you want to find out more about the This Girl Can campaign, have a look at their website: http://www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/
Do you agree with RosemaryM? Do you think women sports stars are often overlooked?