The Impact of Media and Cultural Beliefs on Women's Participation in Sports in Turkey: The Challenges faced by Turkish Women in Professional Sports
Ince Yenilmez, M.
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The fight for gender equality in Turkey extends as far as the sports sector of the economy. Although Turkey has recently seen a fast rise in the participation of women in sports, female athletes are still being marginalized for many reasons. The alarming levels of discrimination discourage females from entering into professional sports in Turkey and have inhibited the growth of the female sports sector in Turkey. This research aims to examine the different roles women have to take with emphasis on explaining the relationship between sports and politics in modern Turkey. The present study explores Turkish women's specific constraints and challenges in professional Sports. Qualitative data were generated from semi-structured interviews conducted with 142 female athletes (both amateur and professionals) across different cities in Turkey. The findings of the study indicate that family influence (chi = 4.39 of 5), wage inequality (chi = 4.31 of 5), media misrepresentation (chi = 4.16 of 5), inadequate sports facilities for women (chi = 4.12 of 5) and high levels of sexual harassment (chi = 3.89 of 5) are the constraints that must be addressed to improve the climate for female participation in sports significantly. The study highlights how these physical activities and sports programs play essential roles in increasing awareness of their importance and improving the overall perception of women in sports in Turkey.
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