It is important to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March because it raises awareness of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and highlights the achievements of women throughout history. It also provides a platform to discuss the issues that women face today and to advocate for change.
Collective action and shared ownership for driving gender parity is what makes this global day so impactful and IWD quotes world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem, who once explained, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
The aim of this year’s campaign, #EmbraceEquity, is to encourage people to actively support and embrace equity within their own sphere of influence to truly make a positive difference for women. For this reason, we want to highlight the recent documentary film Breaking With Tradition, because as far as women’s golf is concerned, these are an example of the stories and discussions that have, and are still, driving change for a more equitable golfing environment.
The film’s overriding subjects of discussion relate to the impact that golf’s heritage continues to have on the sport, which as narrator Iona Stephen says, “Golf’s image has not changed much in the last century, it’s still regarded by many outsiders as a man’s game for the rich and famous.”
This is true in many respects, yet the women’s game has come such a long way since the days when women were only allowed to putt as swinging was regarded as unwomanly! It’s an uplifting film that showcases some of the amazing trailblazers and the stories that have prompted discussions to help break down barriers and introduce change for a better future.
Through her sheer love of the game, Maxine Burton, honorary member of the PGA, tells the story of how she was one of 12 women who gave up their amateur status in 1978 to fulfil their dream of playing golf for a living and forming what is now known as the Ladies European Tour.
These 12 brave women certainly paved the way for golfers like all-time great Dame Laura Davies, who joined the tour aged 21 in 1985, just under a decade after it was established. Davies describes how women’s golf was on a high back then and the women’s tour was growing pretty much in tandem with the men. But then the ‘Tiger Woods effect’ changed…
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