Women’s sport was certainly celebrated at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Did you know, only 7 per cent of Chairs and Presidents in Olympic and Paralympic sport are women?
And, according to Forbes, only one of the top 50 highest paid athletes in 2020 was a woman.
The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, however, have been a great success not only for women athletes, but for gender equality and diversity as a whole.
The Raging Bull showcased throughout the Games represented more than its notorious status as the mascot of host city Birmingham. Indeed, it had an altogether more symbolic meaning representing the women’s equality movement. During the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, female chain makers dragged the bull into the stadium, representing the chains used during the slave trade. The bull then broke free of those chains — symbolizing the abolition of the slave trade and the 1910 wage strike that paved the way for women to break free from poverty. It was a powerful and impactful way to open the Games.
The emotive and empowering show of female strength didn’t stop there. For the first time at a major multi-sport event there were more medal events for women (136) than men (134) at the Commonwealth Games, and a record eight integrated para-sports with podium finishes counting in the overall medal standings.
The Birmingham event also made history as the first to incorporate Women’s T20 Cricket, Beach Volleyball and Para Table Tennis.
Celebrating the success of women’s sport
To celebrate the success of women’s sports at the games, key figures from sport, media and politics gathered at special event at New Zealand House in Birmingham.
The event was staged in partnership with the International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport, which is the world’s largest network dedicated to advancing gender equality in sport and physical activity.
It was also seen as an opportunity for global leaders to discuss what more can be done to achieve gender equality in sport and the benefits of doing so.
IWG Co-Chair Annamarie Phelps CBE OLY said: “In the week when England won the women’s Euros, helping to catapult women’s sport into the spotlight like never before, it’s the perfect time to be pushing to achieve gender equality across the globe."
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “It's been a seismic week for women's sport with the Lionesses’ stunning victory at Wembley and many incredible performances at Birmingham 2022. While women’s sport continues to go from strength to strength, we know there is more to be done to support women both on and off the field of play."
Breaking the bias in sport
Congratulations to all the female medal winners and contenders in a true show of how women are truly breaking the bias in sport.
As mentioned, Birmingham 2022 is the first major multi-sport event in history to award more medals to women than men, while the debut of women’s T20 cricket has proved one of the success stories of the competition.