The Lionesses of England’s incredible feat is a seismic moment for gender equality and an inspiration to a generation of girls (when the Lionesses won, every neglected and protected woman also triumphed, August 2) . But that will only have a lasting effect if we tackle the barriers that prevent girls from playing sports.
Our research shows that 65% of girls have missed physical education because of their periods, and 24% of young women are so concerned about sexual harassment that they have avoided exercising altogether. Girls say sexism is prevalent in school sports, where they are made to play different sports for boys and wear different physical education kits.
This historic victory can and should be a turning point for our daughters – let’s support them as a nation with the same enthusiasm as our victorious Lionesses.
Emma Thompson O’Dowd
Plan International UK