PLAY FAIR is a compelling, unflinching and visually rich documentary that questions the assumption that women’s fight for full rights in the world of sports is over. The film explores five decades of activism and legal challenges that women fought to ensure they would have equal access and rights to compete in sports on elite and community levels. There have been many victories but has equity really been achieved?
There is still a lack of women in leadership positions in the sporting boardrooms and on the fields. The sexualization and objectification of women athletes persists as does the economic disparity between male and female professional athletes. More girls are playing hockey now than ever before but they still have to fight for ice time. Eugenie Bouchard wins an important match at the Australian Open only to field questions from reporters about her outfit. Just five years ago in Vancouver, women were told they couldn’t compete in the Olympic ski-jump. Today, Kaillie Humphries competes in the 4 Men Bobsled with 3 men because there is no such equivalent for women. While there are many victories to celebrate, can we say that women have full equity in the world of sports?
What will it take to ensure that all female athletes have an equal right to play? And, most importantly, what does the future hold for female athletes in Canada? Who are tomorrow’s activists who will continue to strive for equity while making sure the gains of the past aren’t lost?
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