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Indian Premier League and Women Empowerment

International Women's Day

Today when whole of the world is celebrating Women’s Day, which in fact is entering into its hundredth year, it indeed is an opportune moment to place the evolution of IPL and its contribution to Women’s Empowerment.

It would not be an exaggeration to underline that Indian Premier League; aka IPL is an example of a platform that is shinning beacon of women empowerment. Can any other sporting event be cited of any kind anywhere in the world where the ownership of the teams vests with women? IPL may also not have thought about it but it has emerged as a vital by-product of this wonderful marketing initiative.

India therefore has indirectly made a valuable contribution towards women empowerment and the empowerment gets accentuation as the curtains are about to be raised on the third season. The most visible examples of women empowerment through IPL are in the form of Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty, and Neeta Ambani. Which other sporting event would witness women directors sitting along with the teams in the dugouts and sweating it out with the teammates, but the IPL? Even, the professional football, or racing does not have this demonstrative presence of women in the top management, as it is found in the IPL.

Women traditionally have been associated with sports for the glamour quotient but they have seldom being allowed to contribute in the planning and execution process, as it happens in the IPL. BCCI therefore needs to underline this aspect with emphasis to the sporting fraternity of the world that by its initiative in the form of IPL it is trying to induce change in the manner in which the business of sports is conducted in the international arena.

There are significant lessons to learn from the management of teams in the IPL where women are at the helm of affairs. First and foremost this experiment needs to be extended to other sporting events as well, and may be the moribund state in which other sporting events are at present, inclusion of women at the helm of affairs could change the things for better.

It being the hundredth year when Women’s Day started being celebrated, let us also hope that in the inaugural match on 12 March 2010 when curtain is raised on the 3rd season, as a part of presentation this aspect would also be underlined by the organizers. Who knows by the time the inaugural program is lined up; one more woman may start running the affairs of a new team. Lady in question could be Karishma Kapoor who has shown interest in owning the new IPL team, if that happens it would be a fitting tribute to Woman’s Day.

By: Suman Rai

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