Weekly Digest #97
Updated: Aug 2, 2022
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In this digest-
1. Article- The Dich-NOT-omy of Indian Sports
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
4. Entertainment Quotient
The Dich-NOT-omy of Indian sports
By: Abhimanyu Rao
Did you know that Harmanpreet Kaur, the current captain of the Indian Women’s cricket team, just dethroned MS Dhoni from his spot as the most successful T20 captain in Indian Cricket? It is possible- and unfortunately, also likely-that you didn’t know of this major achievement. The reason for this is that women’s cricket, or rather, women’s sports in general, are overlooked by the country as a whole. This is a problem that has gone on for several years, and while there has been a major improvement in the importance of women in sports, we still have a long way to go.
The reason I choose to focus on cricket in this article is because this is a sport where the contrast could not be greater. The men’s team is deified - treated like demi-Gods, handed the most lucrative of contracts, and generally accorded greater recall value compared to women in the same sport.
Until very long ago, women in sports were assumed to be fish out of water. India is a fairly conservative country, which was reflected in their reaction to women joining sports. Having said this, it is not as if discrimination does not exist in other countries. Women were viewed as people whose sole job was to “hold down the fort, while their male counterparts went to earn money and enjoy the spotlight.” This traditionalist view of gender roles has been mostly eradicated, especially in urban areas, and while there are still ways to go.
Some examples of this issue:
Harmanpreet Kaur- Harmanpreet Kaur recently surpassed MS Dhoni’s record for the most T20 victories as a captain of a cricket team. This achievement deserves some resounding applause, however, it might get more of a “Who is Harmanpreet Kaur?” reaction. This is not to say that Harmanpreet Kaur isn’t accomplished, or famous. She is both of those things, but unfortunately, due to the significant influence of Men’s cricket over its female counterpart, she isn’t as much of a household name as some of her male counterparts. Again, this is through no fault of her own, it’s actually a dismal aspect of our status quo. (photo credit-news18.com)
Sania Mirza- Sania Mirza has had a spectacular career, full of trophies and medals. However, as she reminds us, it was no cakewalk for her, and for many young girls, it still isn’t. She herself had to fight to reach the level she is at now, and she knows how difficult it was for her to get there. She knows that the situation isn’t the best yet, for any girls who want to pursue careers in sports. It still is a nightmare for many parents, to hear that their daughters wish to pursue careers in sports. However, at The Paperless Press, we remain ever-hopeful and optimistic about the situation! (photo credit-olympics.com)
Mithali Raj - To call her one of cricket’s greatest players of all time would not do justice to her many accolades and the barriers she has broken, paving the way for others after her. She is the woman with the highest number of ODI wins, and the highest run scorer in ODI cricket. To get an idea of the kind of discrimination the women’s team had to face, you must watch the recently released biopic of Mithali Raj, called “Shabash Mithu” (photo credit-skysports.com)
4. 2022 ICC World Cup advertisers- There was news of lack of enthusiasm from brands to endorse the world cup. The world cup was between the India vs. Sri Lanka test series and the IPL, so brands made their choices. The first event they cut out was the Women’s Cricket World Cup. Some can argue that this was prioritising local audiences, however, others argue that gender was the deciding factor.
5. The Gender Pay Gap- In Weekly Digest #79, Agastya talked about the gender pay gap in sports. I won’t talk much about it, since he went extensively into the topic, but the important point is that there is actually a significant gap between what men and women get paid for the same sport, and success rate!
In this article, the inequalities between men and women in competitive sports are discussed extensively. While the facts discussed in this article are true, they are not permanent. How can we make a change for the better? For starters, by showing up to watch women’s sports, in stadiums and on television. Let us not allow detractors a chance to say women sportspersons do not have viewers, as a crutch to justify discrimination. Call out discrimination when you see, read or hear it. In this world, where change is the only constant, we can only look at the future, and fight for change ourselves!
By: Agastya Rao
By: Mihir Rao
Entertainment quotient for the week:
Sonic the Hedgehog
Luck (releasing on 5th August)
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