Repost of article by Bob Hanscom on dailysquashreport.com on February 11, 2013.
Delaware Investments and U.S. Squash are to be applauded and commended for their commitment in bringing “equality” to the 2013 Delaware Investments U.S. Squash Open scheduled for the week of October 9th through the 18th at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
CEO of U.S. Squash Kevin Klipstein’s statement regarding the event deserves repeating. Kevin said: “It is a top priority for us to promote opportunities for girls and women to play squash. Offering equal prize money is one way we are able to help more female squash players compete at the highest level and to their full potential.”
“In the US we have the same number of girls playing as boys, a nearly equal number of women and men competing in college, and an incredible, dynamic, entertaining World Champion and recent U.S. Open Champion in Nicol David. The women’s tour is equally as significant and competitive as the men’s – and the opportunities for both genders should be equivalent.” Here, here, I say!
Guess this fits right in with some of the sentiments echoed in the January 27th DSR article titled: “The Epitome Of Disrespect – #2.”
It’s taken quite some time, as the women’s rights and equality movement in America started way back in 1848 when the world’s first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY on July 19th and 20th. A Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions was debated and signed by 68 women and 32 men, setting the agenda for the women’s rights and equality movement.
Many years have passed with important milestones met, i.e. In 1866 the American Equal Rights Association was founded, the first organization in the U.S. to advocate women’s suffrage; In 1868 The National Labor Union supports equal pay for equal work; In 1878 the Susan B. Anthony Amendment granting women voting rights was first introduced in the U.S. Congress; In 1917 (during WWI) women moved into many jobs working in heavy industry, mining, chemical manufacturing, automobile and railway plants. They also ran street cars, conducted trains, directed traffic and delivered mail; In 1919 the House of Representatives passed the women’s suffrage amendment, 304 to 89, the Senate passing it with just two votes to spare, 56 to 25; In 1963 the Equal Pay Act was established, giving equal pay for men and women performing the same job; and in 1973 Billie Jean King scored an enormous victory for female athletes when she beat Bobby Riggs in “The tennis tournament watched by nearly 48,000,000 people.”
Perhaps one of the most significant “happenings” for women athletes was that in 1996 U.S. women had spectacular success in the Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia (19 gold medals, 10 silver, 9 bronze) as a result of large numbers of girls and women active in sports since the passage of Title IX.
It’s been a long time coming! Let’s hope other professional squash tournament hosts and sponsors follow the lead of U.S. Squash and Delaware Investments. We still have a long way to go and hope the Olympic Executive Committee is listening and watching before making that all-important decision (for squash) when adding a new sport to the Summer Olympic Games of 2020!