The Tokyo Olympics is already considered the edition with the largest number of women athletes in the event’s history, representing 48.8% of those enrolled. But still, there is a long way to go in talking about gender equity.
“It’s a milestone in our history, but it’s still a political act that these women are managing to show everyone that we have the same capacity, but we don’t have the same investment, we’re not really treated equally,” explains Jessyca Rodrigues, coordinator of the Instituto Esporte Mais, which works to encourage girls and women in sports.
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“Many women arrive at the Olympics without sponsorship with several difficulties, in addition to what men have. So, it’s a way of showing that, if we invest in equality, we can be great powers, both in sport and in other areas,” he added. .
Not only in Tokyo have women shown resilience, power and skills, but also in Brazil, through projects made by and for women. The Instituto Esporte Mais, which exists since 2014, is an example. Legacy of the World Cup in Brazil, the institution works in projects aimed at empowering girls and women through sport on the outskirts of Fortaleza, Ceará.
“We face many obstacles, but we always have to believe in what we do, that it is possible for sport to transform the lives of these girls, these women, that they can indeed become athletes. But if they don’t want to, you can be a journalist, a psychologist, a coach. So, also encourage life projects, because an athlete does not graduate alone, he needs a support network and he can recognize himself in these networks too”, believes the project coordinator.
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Another institution that debates and encourages sport aimed at girls and women in vulnerable situations in Rio de Janeiro is the NGO Empowera. Jana Moura, president of the organization, believes that, even with the record number of women athletes in Tokyo, there are other points to note: “These advances in participation are not advances that come from isolated participation, but advances that come from the fights of decades, decades and decades of women”.
“So this transformation comes from the presence of women in these spaces and when we look at a more leadership scenario, we still have a huge path to cover. At the Tokyo Olympics itself, it broke the record in the participation of women athletes, the we have almost 49% of women athletes representing their countries, but when we look at the coaches, they still represent 10%”, analyzes the president.
Even with the encouragement of these institutions, it is more difficult for women to stay in the sport. According to the survey “The Practice of Sports in Brazil”, carried out by the Ministry of Sports, 34.8% of girls abandon the practice at 15 years of age. Meanwhile, among boys, the percentage is 19.3%.
“When we look at the challenges faced by women, they are numerous, within the sporting environment and abroad as well. So, it is important to see the efforts of committees and confederations so that these challenges are overcome and the impacts are also minimized, so that women can actually participate effectively in the Olympics, in the sports space and also in other spaces”, she analyzes Jana Moura.
Source: BoF Pernambuco
Edition: Vanessa Gonzaga and Monyse Ravena