National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), observed annually on the first Thursday of February, recognizes the significance of equal opportunities for girls and women in sports. This day is also about honoring the achievements of women athletes, acknowledging the influence that sports participation has on the life of girls and women, and recognizing the continuing struggle for equal rights for girls and women in sports.
Although the number of girls and women who play sports has increased since 1973, after the passage of Title IX – a federal law that forbids schools from discriminating based on sex, there is still an inequity toward women in sports. This inequality occurs in many variables. There are much fewer sports teams and professional leagues for women, especially at the high and competitive level. In the US, these are the professional league for women – Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) in Softball, National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), and Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). As for individual and Olympic sports, women have more presence, but even here, there are fewer budgets, fewer facilities, a gender pay gap, and fewer opportunities.
The National Girls and Women in Sports Day was established in 1987 when President Ronald Reagan declared it a national day. The day also serves as a Remembrance Day for the Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman, honoring her athletic achievements and her efforts to promote equality for women in sports. The day is celebrated in many sports teams, organizations, schools, and public institutes with various activities and award ceremonies. In addition to participating in sports events, you can celebrate the day by sharing how sports affected your life using #GirlsAndWomenInSportsDay and visiting statues honoring women’s athletes.
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