Did you know?

It is no secret that women in sports have been overlooked and undervalued since forever. Throughout the years they have been facing many obstacles on their journey of recognition and equality in sports. It is 2024 and if we ask ourselves, have we achieved equality in recognition, what would the answer be? 
Talking about women in sports in North Macedonia, I personally would say no, we haven’t. If you ask why, continue reading this article.

Despite the love for sports, unfortunately girls in North Macedonia are even today less likely to participate in athletic activities compared to boys.
According to a study conducted in 2014, participation of girls in sports activities is significantly lower than that of boys in the age group of 15 to 29 years – 36.6% of active girls compared to 63.4% of boys. 10 years later, not much has changed.

What is more devastating is that this disparity begins from a very young age and continues into adulthood. Did you know that one of the biggest fears among women is that once they become mothers, their career ends for them? Mostly because people think a mother cannot be an athlete, as if sports is a different profession from any other.

Do you have a daughter that does any sports? Does she have a female or a male coach? Probably the answer is a male coach, right? How about your son? Does he have a female coach? Probably not. We can conclude that male coaches predominantly lead female sports teams in our country, and women are only a minority among professional coaches.

When it comes to leadership roles, did you know that only 8.9% of women compared to 91.1% of men are members of management bodies in sports in North Macedonia? How is the situation in your country? In ours, it doesn’t look promising. This means that there is little room for women to be heard and to improve the situation in the country. Sports is still a man’s world. Meaning we should roll up our sleeves and take some action. 

Despite these challenges, there are women in our country that continue to fight against all stereotypes and prejudices regarding women in sports. Women that set examples for little girls whose dream is to become professional athletes. This gives us hope that changes will arrive. One of which is for example Ilina Arsova – the only Macedonian woman to reach the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest. Who is the female athlete you personally admire?