Gen­der stereo­types hit for six

The West Australian - - NEWS - Kate Emery

Get­ting more women into sport starts with teach­ing young chil­dren there is no such thing as boy and girl ac­tiv­i­ties, says WA’s top crick­et­ing ad­min­is­tra­tor.

West Aus­tralian Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Christina Matthews said even the use of pink or blue to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween girls’ and boys’ toys was not a good les­son.

“One of the prob­lems we have is in early learn­ing with the use of colours and par­tic­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties that are male or fe­male ac­tiv­i­ties,” she said.

“I get a lit­tle de­spon­dent ev­ery time I go to a petrol sta­tion and see a blue Kinder Sur­prise packet, as if the sur­prise in that is go­ing to be par­tic­u­lar to a boy or girl.

“What hap­pens to a boy who might want what’s in the pink one? We’ve just got to try to get up in arms about stuff like that.”

Ms Matthews, who this year called for sex­ist male­cen­tric crick­et­ing terms such as “bats­man” and “12th man” to be dropped, is also a sup­porter of the move to­wards gen­der-neu­tral sports uni­forms in schools.

“It’s no sur­prise that the clothes girls are forced to wear pre­vent them from be­ing overly ac­tive, if you’ve got any sort of mod­esty, which most young women do,” she said.

“If the uni­forms were a stan­dard shorts or pants you would get girls much more ac­tive and you wouldn’t have them grow­ing up with the idea that to be a fe­male you have to be dressed a cer­tain way.”

Ms Matthews said she had been sur­prised in her work­ing life by the lack of thought that went into cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for women. “If it doesn’t af­fect you, you don’t think it’s an is­sue but when it does af­fect you, you know how big an is­sue it is,” she said.

Ms Matthews has been an out­spo­ken ad­vo­cate for gen­der equal­ity.

Un­der her guid­ance the WACA had equal gen­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion in its man­age­ment team.

As well as Ms Matthews there is Jo Davies, Joanna Coubrough, Carla Brayn and Kate Mort.

They man­age game and mar­ket de­vel­op­ment, oper­a­tions and fa­cil­i­ties, peo­ple and cul­ture and pub­lic pol­icy and gov­ern­ment re­la­tions re­spec­tively.

Pic­ture: Si­mon Santi

WACA chief ex­ec­u­tive Christina Matthews with Carla Brayn, Joanna Coubrough and Jo Davies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.