Do you consider yourself healthy?
Only 54% of women meet the Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines of completing 30 minutes of exercise daily.
When I was in high school, when playing sport was a nightmare. This is because the boys tended to play rough and exclude the girls. I recall having a soccer ball kicked into my face right after I told my teacher I didn’t want to play for that very reason.
In many cases, women don’t participate in physical activity due to gender stereotypes and body image issues.
There is also a lack of women participating in sporting activities.
Considering in June 2016 women in Australia outnumbered men by 187,100 people, how can this be?
To conquer this issue the Federal Government launched the Girls Make Your Move campaign in 2016 to encourage girls to get active.
You may have seen the television ads, billboards and social media of the campaign recently.
These advertisements showcase young women being involved in different sporting activities, looking happy and healthy.
This is a great way to combat the lack of women in sport, as it helps to demonstrate the range of activities can be done in a positive way. The women come from different backgrounds and have varying physiques, making it easy for their target audience to identify with a showcased woman.
There has been criticism that the campaign’s website doesn’t provide many tips apart from listing activities. However, the Federal Government isn’t going to take you by the hand and enroll you in a class themselves. That’s up to you.
Whether or not people act on it, the campaign does a great job in reminding people that they should be active. It urges them to do so by showing it can be fun. This will reach a wider range of people than if the campaign focused on the effects of being unhealthy.
However, the first campaign slogan that was used, ‘The Couch Can Wait’, stigmatised time dedicated to rest. The current slogan, ‘This Girl Can’ is much better than the previous and is splayed across these ads.
These positive ads that reinforce confidence into women are a step in the right direction when tackling the lack of women in sport.
Another factor that impacts the lack of women in sport is the lack of coverage of female athletes in the media.
Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has demanded that media organisations portray more coverage of women athletes.
“Only 4% of sports media content is dedicated to women’s sport. Only 12% of sports news is presented by women.”
In 2018, you wouldn’t think that there’s a disparity of coverage of women in sport, yet there is.
No woman would feel encouraged to commit to a sport at all, let alone as a career if they don’t receive equal coverage or pay.
So, do you think you could be healthier? Then it’s time to promote even more advocacy of women in sport.