Women have had to fight for equal rights in almost every aspect of society. The world is changing to be a better place for women, but there is still a lot of work to do. In sports specifically, women have had to pull radical moves in order to play and be respected. Let’s take a look at different times in history that women have fought for equality. 

The United States Women’s Soccer Team

In 2019, all 28 U.S. Women’s Soccer Team members filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. This was a massive step in their already ongoing public battle for equality in the sport. In the lawsuit, the players stated that even though they play and win more games than the U.S. men’s team does, they are still not paid the same. They described how institutionalized gender discrimination affects more than just their paychecks; it impacts how often they’re able to play, where they can play, the way they train, the quality of coaching and medical care they receive, and the way they travel to games. Sadly, their strive for fair treatment and equal pay is not the first of a longstanding battle by women all over the world.

Boston Marathon of 1967

In 1967, only 54 years ago, women were still prohibited from officially participating in the Boston Marathon. However, Kathrine Switzer did not let this stop her from her chasing her dream. Instead, she chose to register under the name “K.V. Switzer” to disguise her gender. Unfortunately, two miles into the run, an official attempted to pull Kathrine out of the race. Kathrine kept pushing forward and finished anyway, making her the first woman to finish the race as an official entrant. After this, regulations for women competing in track-related events began to change. In 1972, women were allowed to register for the Boston Marathon, and in 1984 women were allowed to participate in Olympic marathoning. 

Venus Williams’ Battle Against Wimbledon

In 2007, Wimbledon finally announced that women’s tennis players would receive the same amount of prize money that the men receive. This came after immense pressure from Venus Williams and others. After winning the match in 2005, Venus made her initial request to receive equal pay. It was turned down, and in 2006 she went on to be published in The Times of London for her op-ed essay titled “Wimbledon Has Sent Me a Message: I’m Only a Second Class Champion.” The policies were changed in 2007, and Wimbledon awarded Venus $1.4 million after her fourth win, which is the same amount of money received by the men’s champion Roger Federer.