Lionesses win – a watershed moment
UEFA Women’s Euro Champions 2022 Lionesses’ win is a watershed moment culturally, in sport, and for gender equality.
I know nothing about football,but even I can recognize what a watershed moment this win is culturally, in sport, and for gender equality.
England’s Lionesses became the UEFA Women’s Euro Champions 2022 which is a phenomenal success. The last time the England men’s team, women anything similar women were not allowed to play football.
Let me repeat that.
In 1921: The FA banned women from playing on Football League grounds. “…the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.”
Women were only allowed to play competitive professional football since 1971. This is England’s first major football trophy since 1966, and the first, ever European Championship was won by the women’s team.
Don’t underestimate the achievement
We have to acknowledge the records these women broke, the barriers they overcame, and the way they brought a whole country with them. The match also inspired a continent maybe even the world
The Lionesses and the tournament attracted more spectators and viewers than ever before. 87,192 people at Wembley – a record for a Euros game in men’s or women’s football, plus record breaking TV viewers 17.5 million Btitish T.V. viewers tuned in, with 19.9 million in Germany.
And not only that the game was clean. No showboating. No fighting or stand-offs. No yelling, swearing, or crowding the ref. No fighting in the stands or racial abuse being hurled. No fake injuries or hamming up a tackle. No flares stuck up orifices or public drug taking or drunkenness. The runners-up kept their medals on during the presentation.
The match was a role model event for women and girls everywhere. Now is the time to shape the future for all those girls in school where they may have been discouraged from playing in many geographies. Girls tend to drop out of team sports at around the age of 14 at twice the rate of boys in many countries, which later impacts their academic chocies and shapes their careers. .
Now they can be what they have seen.
Worth a read: Sexism and stereotypes starts at home – 3 Plus International
Women’s soccer is becoming a cultural force. In Australia and the USA, there are more players at the world’s top clubs. In countries where men’s soccer is popular such as Spain, Netherlands, and Italy, interest in the women’s game is also on the increase. In the U.K. the win comes at a time of increasing interest in the women’s game, with the number of girls playing for football teams rising by more than 40% in the last three years.
The Lionesses will inspire new cohorts of girls and young women who come behind them, as they make history and break records.
Key will be challenging male-dominated talent development systems and getting the investment they need and deserve.
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