It Starts on the Court: Gender Equality in Sports and Beyond | Sarah Du | TEDxDeerfieldAcademy

It Starts on the Court: Gender Equality in Sports and Beyond | Sarah Du | TEDxDeerfieldAcademy

you exercise is one of the least expensive ways to stay healthy it has the potential to prevent chronic diseases as effectively as medication assists brain development and helps one develop self-esteem and leadership it leads to higher academic success lower levels of stress and fewer cases of depression who here believes that all people should be entitled to these benefits awesome I agree as well yet there is a huge group of people who aren't able to enjoy these benefits so take a look at this image it's of a summer basketball camp in Beijing China at first glance it looks pretty normal it's probably the last day of camp so everyone's taking a photo together there are younger boys and older boys shorter boys and taller boys but if you look really closely there's something that doesn't quite belong does anyone see anything okay yeah you guys all got it okay so right here there's a girl that girl is me and it is through the experience captured in this photo that I realized that many girls are being deprived of the benefit of athletics so gender and equality in sports is a huge and important issue in China yet it's overlooked and it prevents girls from benefiting from the many lessons of teamwork self-confidence and prezerv variants that sports teaches so in 2008 when I was 8 years old I attended Chinese basketball Olympiad huawei's basketball summer camp as lonely girl I stayed in the dorm with 3 20 year old girls who were training to be flight attendants because there were no other girls in the camp the coaches were a little stunned and confused why was there the students however reacted much more harshly they pointed at me laughed sneered they ignored me didn't past metering games and they nearly fainted anytime I did something they didn't expect me to be able to do like make a shot or do a crossover so unfortunately this wasn't the only time I've had such experiences again and again I find myself among hundreds of boys as the only girl at local Chinese basketball camps and classes so why is it so hard to find girls who play basketball I see three main reasons for one there is the gal cow which is kind of like the equivalent of an SAT plus all your end-of-term exams and it essentially determines your educational future in China so because of this most kids prioritize academics and if they had any free time it'd be spent on academic press ins so English lessons math lessons etc the second reason is there's a negative stigma around girls playing sports girls aren't really expected to play sports with high intensity or contact and especially not with guys finally there's a lack of female sporting leagues and opportunities so even the girls who do realize they like sports don't have fellow girls to play it with and so they eventually give up on playing and therein fewer fewer number of girls who play however because I was born in Oregon attended in international school in Beijing and also attended basketball camps in the US I was able to have many opportunities to play basketball and it is through my experiences with basketball that I learned what it means to work hard to be part of a team and to be a leader I realized that the denial from sports meant that girls in China are missing critical opportunities to gain these skills to experience camaraderie developed leadership skills etc and without these chances girls cannot achieve equality the research supports this studies show that female high school athletes are three times more likely to graduate than non-athletes furthermore 50% of teenage girls who participate in some kind of sport experience higher than average levels of self-esteem and in a survey of 400 senior woman executives it was found that 82% of them played organized sports while they were growing up and this indicates that these women who are now successful in their fields must have learned lessons from their sporting experiences so I was amazed the facts clearly suggested that there is a powerful correlation between sports and gaining important skills and that's forests are an extremely powerful teaching tool that could be used to achieve gender equality I was inspired to see what I could do with this tool and I was also curious of what effect exposure to sports would have on a group of girls so in 2014 I decided to conduct an experiment to answer my question I found 10 students from a nearby local school and started my own girls basketball summer camp on the first day almost all ten girls were extremely shy and reserved they nerve I asked them to sit down in circle and when we were introducing ourselves they nervously avoided my gaze they talked really quietly and I had to lean forwards hear what they were saying and they didn't talk much to each other either and kind of just stayed in their own bubble so I decided to focus on developing the skills of teamwork communication and confidence I pushed them to learn each other's names and cheer for each other doing relays and in a passing game where dribbling was not allowed they were literally forced to cooperate and work with each other in three on three and five on five games encouraged hesitant girls to take a shot by the last day all ten girls basketball skills had drastically improved my voice could barely be heard over their chairs doing relays they were able to move the ball around much more quickly during passing drills and during games swishes rang through the court so after our last practice we again sat down a circle and I asked them to share what they learned and here are some of the things they said I learned that I shouldn't blame other people when something bad happens and should instead take responsibility for my own actions I learned how to be in triple threat and how to take a layup I learned that teamwork is much more effective than trying to do something by myself I learned that I can do much more than I think I can so my camp was a modest experiment but based on the experiment I can affirm that sports even in a short amount of time can have an extremely transformative effect upon a group of people and especially upon a group of girls and last summer I conducted two more basketball girls camps and they had similar effects so even though the students in Mike camps have gained additional skills the problem still remains after campus over these girls still struggle with finding other girls to play with or guys who are willing to play with them China is not the only country that could be used more sports to reach gender equality gender equality is really a in sports is really a global issue and in the u.s. although girls at the elementary middle and high school levels have more sporting opportunities we're not done yet inequality remains at the professional levels female students make up 50% of the college student population yet only 43% of all the sporting opportunities are given to them that's sixty three thousand two hundred forty one fewer opportunities than male athletes and of these female college sports teams only 43 percent of the coaches are female while on the other hand four men's college sports teams 98 percent of the coaches are male in professional sports there's a huge discrepancy between male and female pay in the 2015 season the maximum salary for a WNBA player was one hundred and nine thousand five hundred dollars for NBA player the minimum salary was five hundred thirty-five thousand ninety three dollars in other words the lowest NBA salary was almost five times higher than the highest WNBA salary and in 2015 the US Women's World Cup team got two million dollars for winning the World Cups on the other hand the men world cup champion team took home 35 million dollars in an online poll the following question was asked would you rather have fined $5 or have your local WNBA team win the championship the results were shocking 76 percent of the responders said they'd rather find $5.00 so we must encourage girls to play sports yet based on the numbers I presented it's evident that girls sports aren't being supported and that girls aren't be given equal opportunities this is Cece a 13 year old girl whom I got the opportunity to teach last summer at my basketball camp she always feels like the odd when she plays amongst boys so she tries to go to the basketball courts only at night so that no one will see her play Cece is one of the most hard-working intelligent and willing to learn and improve girls I know so it's absolutely stunning and disheartening to hear that she has to go through such efforts just to pursue an interest that she deserves the opportunity to engage in and that brings her immense benefits so through my experiences playing amongst all boys camps and through meeting girls like CeCe I deeply feel that gender inequality is an issue that can make a huge difference to girls growing up around the world and we can make a difference whether it's through organizing battle camps in countries with fewer opportunities encouraging our female friends to participate in sports or attending women's athletic events these are all things that we can do as teammates as classmates as future college students and young professionals these are things that we can do whether we are a boy or a girl to work towards gender equality that's why I hope to dedicate myself to this issue and hope you will too thank you you

24 Replies to “It Starts on the Court: Gender Equality in Sports and Beyond | Sarah Du | TEDxDeerfieldAcademy”

  1. Go to any women's event, be it tennis, golf, basketball, you name it and you won't see that many women in attendance. I went to a women's college basketball game not long ago and about 75% of the people in the stands were men. They were most likely boyfriends or other friends of the women playing or perhaps family members. Why don't women support women? This isn't all that hard to understand.

  2. LOL! I’m actually laughing really hard right now because after watching this video I can tell you that she is not being honest and simply didn’t do her homework well.

  3. So it's not good enough that women get the better deal in divorce court…or that they serve less prison time for the SAME crimes men do…

  4. I’ve seen equality in sports and it looks like a 16 year old girl getting carried off the ice of a hockey game after one clean hit.

  5. Women are just not as good at sport. It is not an ideal thing but that is how it is. But there are organisations where women are privileged. Can we really take a would you rather quiz seriously?

  6. Men are supposed to be leaders, this is why the world is suffering and women are out of control! When men want to take their role back, things will work out just fine.
    We all need to get in our own lane

  7. Girl lacrosse and boys lacrosse are two different sports basically, that’s just a small example. How can there be equality, if the girls played with guys they would get clapped. If you take a man and a woman who are both the same weight and height, I promise you the guy will be 2x stronger

  8. This is one of the dumbest videos I've even seen on TED Talks, and that's saying something. If women want to play sports, they can. Not as many women are interested in sports as men. When women's sports bring in as much money as men, they will be paid more.

  9. athletes are paid by getting viewers and fans thats why women don't get payed like men. why should women get payed the same same if they don't draw the same crowds? women don't even watch women's sports! by all means women should play sports but you don't get payed until you have viewers, don't the world champion women's soccer team get beat by 15 or 16 year old boy's?

  10. Women are their own worst enemy. My girlfriend and I, a couple of nights ago, were watching the tennis Chung v Djokovic, a fantastic game BTW. There was a woman's game, which was about to begin straight after, now I would love to tell you the names of the Women playing but my girlfriend didn't want to watch it because she said women's games were boring, She has been trying to tell me about woman's equality for years, LOL

  11. One rival year for viewership (in Soccer) doesn't condone an across the board equal pay increase in a sport that is VASTLY different in skill and viewers CHOICE and INTEREST . The End.

  12. I think she is pushing for equal opportunity in sports. Not sure if that can happen because males are athletically superior to women. I am struggling to think of a sport where women are superior.

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