06 November 2020

England’s Rachael Burford hits out at the sexism still suffered by women’s sport

Harlequins and England’s Rachael Burford has spoken of her frustration at sexism directed towards women’s sport.

Writing in the i paper, she said: "It’s fair to say that the men’s Six Nations is far more competitive with any team capable of winning – it is only really between France and England in the women’s game. Everyone acknowledges we are not there yet in the evolution of the women’s game, but this does not mean that we can allow sexism to undermine the dedication, effort and achievement of the England team.

“There seems to be a perception that the women’s game doesn’t mean as much, or the team don’t have to work just as hard to get their result and win. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth – the commitments and sacrifices that all these women have to make to represent their respective countries are huge.”

She added women need more role models in sport for it to become less about gender.

"We need our grandmothers, mums, aunts, daughters, sisters, nieces seeing sporting females role models more and more… you can’t be it, if you can’t see it. 

"And I don’t just mean we just need to have more players playing the game – we want more female volunteers at our grassroot clubs, referees, coaches, speakers, presenters, commentators, administrators, CEOs, the list goes on.

“If we get this right, doors can open properly for women’s rugby and sport. Then it just becomes about the sport, it’s not about men’s or women’s – it’s just sport.”

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