Levelling the Playing Field: Discrimination Against Women in Sport in Australia

Hazal Gacka

Abstract


Historically, female athletes have received minimal recognition and inequitable remuneration in the male-dominated world of sports. Recent developments are promising but a deeper examination of the changes within sports such as the Australian Football League (‘AFL’) and netball demonstrate that these historical issues remain. This article will first outline the relevant legislative and policy background, and the basis of discrimination against women in sport from feminist perspectives. A detailed analysis of two specific and interrelated issues will then be discussed: lower salaries, sponsorship and prize money, and inadequate media coverage. The inaugural AFL Women’s (‘AFLW’) competition marks a significant step forward for women’s sport and will be examined with regards to these particular issues. Finally, recent developments and further recommendations for eliminating discrimination will be outlined, including legislative amendments, targeted policies, and the need for a change in the gendered assumptions that women are somehow inferior to men in sport and in society in general. 


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References


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