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CRICKET IS STILL SEEN AS A MAN’S GAME, SURVEY FINDS
London – Cricket is still seen by the British public as a predominantly male sport, new research from Plan International UK has found, with just 36 per cent believing it is equally suitable for both genders.
The game compares poorly with other major sports, including football, which 41 per cent believe to be gender equal and tennis which, with 87 per cent seeing it as equally suitable, is the UK’s most gender neutral sport.
The survey, in which 2003 adults were polled by Opinium ahead of Wimbledon, asked the public whether they thought a selection of sports were suitable for both men and women. Tennis ranked significantly higher than any other sport mentioned, with cricket, rugby and netball showing the greatest disparities.
Of those polled, just two per cent felt cricket was more suitable for women, while 62 per cent thought it was more suitable for men.
Tanya Barron, Plan International UK’s chief executive, said “Whilst it is refreshing to hear that the vast majority of the British public understands that, regardless of gender, tennis is a game for everyone, these findings also highlight the assumptions and stigmas around women and sport which still persist, even in 2017.
“We know that these stereotypes drive significantly lower sports participation amongst girls than their male counterparts”.
“As a nation we must continue to counter these assumptions, to continue to raise the profile of women in sport and to champion female athletes of all ages and backgrounds. We know that sport can in fact be a hugely powerful tool for promoting positive body image, confidence and better relationships between boys and girls”.
In terms of other major sports, the polling also found that:
· Just a quarter (26 per cent) of the British public believe rugby is equally suitable for men and women
· 28 per cent of the British public believe netball is suitable for both men and women
· 41 per cent of the British public believe football is suitable for both men and women
· 51 per cent of the British public believe dance is equally suitable for men and women, with just 2 per cent who consider it more suitable for men.
Plan International UK uses sport in its projects around the world to promote gender equality and better relationships between boys and girls. Its Champions of Change projects, for example, harnesses the power and popularity of football to teach children about respect, tolerance in countries where gangs, guns and domestic violence diminish the life chances of girls and boys as they grow up.