Gender Inequality in Football; Leveling Playing field

Gender Inequality in Football; Leveling the Playing Field Through Equitable Funding. A number of authors have identified the determinants of international sporting performance differentials in men’s sporting events. This study compares the determinants of men’s international soccer team performance with that of their female counterparts and find that a partially different set of variables are important in the two contexts. While economic and demographic influences hold for both, their particular political and cultural factors diverge. These findings highlight different degrees of gender inequality among the countries in the sample in terms of the greatly different economic, political and social significance of the sport depending whether it is played by men or women.

Gender Inequality in Football; Leveling Playing field

The purpose of the article is to examine the significance of female play in Association Football in Britain. The European context indicates shifting social values from the beginnings of the ‘women’s game’ in the 1890s to the present day. The argument begins with the premise that sporting practices are historically produced, socially constructed and culturally defined. Britain pioneered the first phase of football’s widespread popularity with women during, and shortly after, the First World War. The English Football Association (FA) found this threat to the male professional game sufficiently serious to ‘ban’ women’s football in 1921. The revival of women’s football in the 1960s as primarily a participatory activity (rather than as a spectatorsupported sport) is still answering an agenda whereby gender difference is naturalised and fixed. However, there is an independent practice of English women’s football which, in its most recent form, has become a centrally regulated, but essentially devolved and voluntaristic sporting activity. Consequently, the question of whether the FA can be seen as the most appropriate patron of the supposed national sport is set against the self-governing tradition of the women’s game. Legal and educational narratives of equality compare unfavourably with, for example, Scandinavia and the United States where there is some expectation of equity of result, rather than of opportunity.

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Approximately 250 words

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