Sports for a Purpose

Equality in sports. It’s a win-win.

Are you ready for equality? Girl Up has launched Sports for a Purpose to inspire and empower girls to break down gender barriers in sports, both in their own communities and around the world. Learn more about the gender inequities girls face in sports and how you can take action to level the playing field for girls everywhere.

Why girls in sports?

Sports is a gender equality issue. From youth sports teams to professional athletes, girls and women face discrimination in pursuing and continuing with sports. Gender inequities are everywhere—just look at the lack of access to funding, limited media coverage of female athletes and women’s sports, and the pervasive body shaming of female athletes, to name just a few.

Yet, sports and team activities are a proven way to develop girls’ leadership skills and confidence. Until we level the playing field for girls in sports, we won’t fully realize gender equality.

Here are the facts:

  • Girls are less likely than boys to participate in sports. About 40% of teen girls in the US do not participate in sports, compared with 25% of boys (Women’s Sports Foundation).
  • By age 14, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate boys drop out of sports (Play Like a Girl).
  • Only 5% of sports media coverage features women (Women’s Sports Foundation).
  • Reflecting on their own careers, 61% of the women executives believe that their personal involvement in sport contributed positively to their career success and advancement (Ernst & Young, 2014).

A 2019 survey found that 77% of Girl Up Club members believed there are gender barriers that prevent girls from participating. In addition, 80% of Girl Up Club members have experienced or know someone who experienced gender barriers in sports such as low sports events attendance and body shaming of athletes. It’s time for us to recognize this as a gender equality issue and take action and create change.

For the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Girl Up Rio Club held a viewing at their local sports television network office!

How can I get involved?

Educate yourself on the gender gap in sports and take action today.

  1. Learn the facts. Check out our Resources page to find more facts about gender discrimination in sports and other resources to build your knowledge. Then, start talking about this issue to raise awareness.
  2. Take a stand for girls in sports. Sign our petition to show us you care about this issue and to be the first to hear about new resources, events, and other opportunities.
  3. Donate to make a difference. Make a donation to support Girl Up’s work inspiring and empowering girls to break down gender barriers in sports.

With support from our founding partners, WWE and Women’s Sports Foundation