According to Krikos (2004), there are many gender and cultural aspects that surround the participation of women apart from just exercise and physical fitness. She outlines that there are a variety of issues involved that have historically prevented women from effectively taking part in sports. Some of the factors outlined by Krikos are feminist, feminist separatist, gender equity, leadership, Marxist, equipment, the media, market, a career in sports and Olympic triad. The general realization is that there are underlying issues within societies that have continued to create barriers for the participation of women in sports. The paper will outline some of these issues as identified by previous studies. In the United States at the peak of women rights movements in the 1960s, the general realization is that sports were not a key consideration for the women rights groups. Instead, these groups were more concerned with the participation of women in other areas that dealt with social and political issues. The major emphasis was to promote the participation of women in the workplace and to ensure that the right’s of women were protected and respected within the family. However, it was not until 1972 that the government through a legislation opened doors for the consideration of women participation in sports and how it compared with the participation of men. According to Delaney (2009), the passing of the education legislation Title IX ensured that no person was to discriminate against in participation sports on the basis of gender. In 1971, the year before the passing of the legislation, there were around 200,000 girls participating in college sports as compared to 3 million boys. Perhaps the passing of the legislation drew the attention of women rights groups because it was followed by a series of lawsuits that sought to fight against the barriers that undermined female participation in sports. The number of female participation subsequently increased in the 80s and 90s.
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