Women's sports in Pakistan has had an impact and made a difference in the country, with more focus and attention given to it, we could have female stars making us proud!
The general presumption about Women's Sports in Pakistan would be "not a serious matter" or taken lightly and brushed off when compared to men's sports, which are aired on television for the nation to commend.
“Women and sports? That must be a joke!” are the types of responses you may hear or receive if you try to find any kind of sports structure for women in our country. When in fact everyone is misinformed, women in sports do not get ample amounts of attention because no one seems to want to give it attention.
Great news about women winning tournaments are pushed down by comments such as, “Girls should “play” outside, they will lose their families respect,” or “They just want the attention, women are meant to stay indoors, sports is for boys and men.” It is definitely not easy to change the assumptious mindset held towards women and playing sports which is typically considered a "male game" and it is a slow process for sure but progress is progress no matter how slow. The following are a few sports played by the women of Pakistan, showing how our women can really make a difference.
Cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan, not only amongst men but also amongst women as well! Since 2005 after the development of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Women’s Wing, women’s cricket has faced and overcome a massive change and sometimes performing even better than the men's cricket team. A common name in women's cricket in Pakistan you’ll hear is Sana Mir, a two-time gold medal winner following wins in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games.
Over the years many numerous clubs have come into existence, not only in Karachi but also in Lahore, Islamabad and Gilgit. Football may not be as popular a sport as cricket but is adored and loved by both men and women in Pakistan. Clubs such as Royal Eagles, WAPDA, Diya FC, Karachi United. The National tournament took place recently in end of December and early January where Karachi United and Army team went face to face in the final.
Hockey is one of the most played sports by women in Pakistan regardless of whether it gets attention or not. Recently, 21-year-old Rushna Khan became the first female Pakistani player to sign for a foreign club. Khan is a goalkeeper of the Pakistan Women’s Hockey Team who is currently playing for St George Randwick Hockey Club in Sydney, Australia.
Rugby is relatively new in Pakistan, nonetheless, when the women of our country want to play a sport, they don’t let anything stand in their way. In February 2017, the Pakistani Women’s Rugby Team made their historic international debut. To keep the sport alive and going is for women in Pakistan to keep playing and to build their strength.
These are some of the sports loved by women in our country who understand that fighting to play sports is more than just for fun. In a male dominated country such as our own this is a great way to push for women empowerment and gender equality.
Some of our women dream big as they should in order to make it easier for the young girls growing up in our country, to teach them the importance of exercise for our physical as well as mental health. The way to work towards serious issues that women face can be through sports, teaching those that sports is more than just fun and games that has real impacts on a child's life and their future, how they can learn problem solving, positive reinforcement and to build self confidence in a country where women and girls are constantly put down.
Sports in general breaks stereotypes and promotes freedom, regardless if it is for men or women, it plays a role on its own unbiasedly and without prejudice of conforming to "social norms" which is what we need in Pakistan.