Monday 21 June 2021

Can Sports Reduce Violence Toward Women?

(Olive Branch) Women who practice a sport claim that sports give them better health and raise their self-esteem. And studies have shown that sports can empower women.

Photo by Emily Morales

Lakshi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations says that sports teach leadership and how to think strategically, plus raise a women’s self-esteem. And Maria Bobenreith, founder of Women Win, an organization to promote sports for women, says that praticing a sport shows that women can be ‘feminine’ and strong mentally and physically and that women feel free and capable of achieving their goals.

- Advertisement -

An article published by the International Olympic Committee says that sports are a tool for empowering women because they develop capabilities to make changes and they challenge the stereotype of the passive, dependent women.

Sports can be in a team or individual such as swimming, hiking, or cycling. A sport can be competitive or for relaxation. Zumba and aerobics are also sports in that they give women strength and self-esteem.

Photo by Mitzi Stark

In a project by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF or LIMPAL in Spanish) we spoke with women of different ages and sports. We met women over 60 swimming and doing aerobics and mothers who play on soccer teams and ride mountain bikes. Meche, 32 years old, began with aerobics to overcome depression, which led her to zumba. Now she leads zumba classes around Alajuela and Heredia. She says it changed her life physically and spiritually and she sees that women in her classes gain confidence, become more independent and form friendships through zumba.

- Advertisement -

In our study, we also found that most of the women who practice a sport as adults were active or into sports as girls. For that reason, it is important that girls be encouraged to take up sports or activities at a young age in both urban and rural areas, through the school, or community association, for good health and to develop abilities, to become more self-sufficient. It is also a means of combatting obesity in girls and young women.

Today women have more opportunities for sports through private or public programs. In Costa Rica each cantón has a sports complex or Polideportivo which is open to the public and includes track, swimming, tennis, playing fields and aerobics. Some have gymnasium equipment.

Photo by Mitzi Stark

Private programs offer martial arts and fencing, gyms, zumba. Surf and soccer are popular with women too. Women athletes from Costa Rica have done very well in the world and regional competitions, in boxing, track, fencing, and soccer and Costa Rican women participate in international marathons and sports events.

But sports programs for women need support. Where are the soccer fields and dressing rooms for women’s games, practice and tournaments? Where is the publicity to show their efforts and encourage more women and girls to join in? Where are the sponsors to fund uniforms and travel expenses? Where are the announcements of women’s events?

Costa Rica has dozens of sports programs on radio and television. Men’s sports. They reported the results and schedules of the American Cup, the Champion’s League, European and Latin American games, but reported not a word about the Women’s World Cup recently held in France.

- Advertisement -

Photo by Mitzi Stark

Sports programs and the sports pages of the newspapers give little space to women’s sports, and then only if she has won a major event or a championship. On most days there is no coverage of women in sports. Everyone here recognizes the name of Kaylor Navas but few can identify Shirley Cruz even though their careers are equal.|

It is important that women and girls are encouraged to join in sports programs or to take up a sport on their own. It is important that there are recreational parks, community halls, playing fields available for women, and for girls to be able to play ball, ride bikes, run and jump rope.

Women and girls need the same opportunities in sports as men and boys.

It is important that all those sports pages in newspapers and all those sports programs on radio and TV give some daily space to women’s sports, and that municipalities and community associations give equal time and space for women’s sports as for men’s. And it is important that world and regional events featuring women’s sports be given the same publicity as men’s events. Because strong capable women (and girls) are not likely to become victims of abuse, harassment and violence.

WILPF is an international organization to promote peace and justice and gender equality. The Costa Rican section was founded in 1981. Contact us at peacewomen@gmail.com.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Mitzi Stark
There are so many interesting things going on in Costa Rica and most of the 'gringos' don't know about them because they don't follow the Spanish language media. So I want to let them know what's going on. My home town is Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I've been in Costa Rica since 1979 and I live near Alajuela in the campo. I have a journalism degree from the Univ. of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and have written for the Tico Times and other publications. I'm an activist for peace and animal welfare and have organized spay-neuter campaigns.

Related Articles

Health issues new guidelines for sports, beauty salons and food services

The Ministry of Health issued guidelines on Monday afternoon for establishments...

MOST READ

13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne

Acne is considered to be one of the most common skin ailments on the planet, with a record 60 million people being afflicted by...

Ortega government accuses imprisoned opponents of receiving money from the United States to overthrow him

TODAY NICARAGUA – The Nicaraguan government assures that the imprisoned political opponents detained on charges of “inciting foreign intervention” are “usurpers” financed by the...

Fifth tropical wave precipitation will be heavier in the north of the country

QCOSTARICA - For this Wednesday, the arrival of the fifth tropical wave of the season is expected, thus reinforcing the rainy activity mainly to...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 20: only “EVENS” can circulate

Today, Sunday, June 20, only vehicles with "EVEN" ending plates CAN circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 17: 7 & 8 CANNOT circulate

Today, Thursday, June 17, vehicles with plates ending 7 & 8 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

OIJ investigation into road works corruption leads to inquiries in Panama

QCOSTARICA - The prestige of the company of some of the richest men in Costa Rica hangs by a thread. For many, the MECO...

Bribed with cars, sexual favors and money in exchange for road works contracts

QCOSTARICA - The OIJ uncovered a big pothole on Monday when it was announced that public officials had allied with construction companies that, apparently,...

Heavy downpours generated the first phreatic eruption of this year at the Turrialba volcano

QCOSTARICA - Several residents of La Pastora, La Central and Monte Calas, in the vicinity of the Turrialba volcano, heard a loud rumbling early...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 21: plates ending in 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate

Today, Monday, June 21, we are back to the two plates that cannot circulate, in today's case plates ending in 1 & 2 CANNOT...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.