Pay gap ensures women cricketers don’t receive support men take for granted

On this Women’s Day, the incomplete tale of Hamida Banu’s life and Dutee Chand’s continuing struggle should motivate us to recover, cherish and protect the histories of women in Indian sport.

According to the new set of contracts, the likes of Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav are set to earn a retainer amount of Rs 1 crore for the next year – double of what skipper Mithali Raj will make for leading the women’s team, despite neither of the men having represented India for about a year now. It is not about who brings in more money; rather, the exaggerated gap only ensures women cricketers in India cannot hope to receive the kind of support the men take for granted. On this Women’s Day, the incomplete tale of Hamida Banu’s life and Dutee Chand’s continuing struggle should motivate us to recover, cherish and protect the histories of women in Indian sport. Only then can we expect to afford the respect our female athletes deserve, argues this sports writer.

In Anthony Quinn’s breezy novel, Half of the Human Race, a suffragette falls in love with a cricketer only to discover the politics he espouses is at odds with her beliefs. Eventually, through a series of woeful events, he comes to reassess his world-view and appreciate the struggle which made and remade his love Sito in costruzione was the struggle for women’s suffrage which led to the establishment of Women’s Day, although the day has come to occupy a broader movement now. As the call for gender equity gathers a wider footprint in mainstream culture, it was a worthy reminder by the BCCI on Wednesday that its employees will not be treated at par anytime soon.

According to the new set of contracts, the likes of Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav are set to earn a retainer amount of Rs 1 crore for the next year – double of what skipper Mithali Raj will make for leading the women’s team, despite neither of the men having represented India for about a year now. It is not about who brings in more money; rather, the exaggerated gap only ensures women cricketers in India cannot hope to receive the kind of support the men take for granted.Of course, it used to be worse. Diana Edulji—now a member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) overseeing the BCCI’s administration—and her teammates were asked to pay Rs 10,000 each for participation in the 1982 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, despite women’s cricket in India attracting huge crowds in the 1970s.

While gains have been made, it is rather unfair for a team which finished runner-up at last year’s World Cup to not be appraised fairly.The cricketers aside, there have been other women have given Indian sport much to cheer about in recent months. Even as the hurdles continue to spring up as if they have a life of their own, the country’s female athletes are setting standards not touched ever before.

While P. V. Sindhu breaks newer ground in badminton, lesser lights have enchanted in no less measure. In 2017, 19-year-old Aditi Ashok delivered a stellar campaign on the elite Ladies’ Professional Golf Tour (LPGA). The Bengaluru-teenager has given ample proof to show that she belongs among the best.Young stars seem to be leading the way lately. It was only earlier this week that 16-year-old Manu Bhaker grabbed headlines when she reigned champion in the women’s 10m air pistol event at the World Cup in Mexico, becoming the third-youngest shooter ever to win gold at that level.

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