Women's and Girls fact sheet
This fact sheet provides some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach women. Studies show that women are the main decision makers in relation to activities the family may participate in. Women also have the highest life expectancy.
Participation in regular physical activity has a wide range of health and well being benefits for women including physical, functional, psychological and social benefits and contributes to disease prevention.
How to reach women
- Women are likely to be attracted to simple and clear messages that appeal to their busy lives and that reflect both social and health benefits
- Women are often key decision makers in physical activity choices for others and tend to prioritise the needs of others before their own
- Physical activity messages need to reflect the joint benefits for women and their families
- Women are time poor and feel pressure to fulfil home and work responsibilities as a priority in their daily lives
- Women respond to age appropriate methods. i.e. young women are techno-savvy and use the internet and mobile phones while older women like written and face to face through newspapers, friends and significant others
- Provision of positive images of women and girls.
Key motivating factors for participation
- Provision of activities and programs for women and girls. Opportunities to participate with or make new friends.
- Ability to try the activities in a safe, welcoming environment.
- Focus on the health benefits i.e. feeling less stressed, having more energy, feeling better able to cope with their busy lives and feeling younger.
- Providing access to clean, well-maintained and hygienic facilities, including change rooms and childcare facilities at major venues.
- Ensuring women feel safe while participating and after activity, particularly through appropriate lighting and avoiding the need to enter confined spaces.
- Education/information awareness programs targeting specific groups within the CALD community.
Women in the population
Moreland has 78,193 women, which is more than half of the total population. (51 per cent) This number is expected to increase to 96,483 in 2021 and 104,556 by 2031, a change of some 26,363 people.
The greatest proportion of women living in Moreland are in the 25-29 year age group (9.8 per cent), closely followed by the 30-34 years (9.6 per cent) and 35-39 years (8.3 per cent).
- The greatest increase in number of women between 2011 and 2031 is projected in the 30-34 year age group, with 2,870 additional residents
- Physical activity gives you the energy to help deal with busy lifestyles and lack of sleep – often experienced by women
Likely barriers faced by women
There are a number of likely participation barriers faced by women. Whilst barriers vary for different people, some common barriers reported are:
- fragmented time constraints – family commitments and household commitments
- availability of options at convenient times
- cultural norms
- inadequate infrastructure i.e. lack of suitable change rooms or women-only spaces
- family commitments and responsibilities
- existing injury or disability (for older women)
- racism and discrimination towards women from a CALD background i.e. different cultural values and dress
- negative body image
- limited social network
- perceived lack of skills to undertake the activity i.e. swimming etc.
- perceived safety issues i.e. accessing recreation facilities after dark, dogs, uneven pavements, etc.
- lack of fitness and associated concerns about keeping up or doing the right thing
- tiredness due to family/childcare responsibilities
- cultural and religious barriers – inappropriate dress codes and lack of safe, comfortable and accessible facilities, and
- lack of childcare and lack of awareness of childcare options.
While women may experience barriers, it is important to understand that when different demographic influences collide that severe disadvantage is likely to be experienced.
For instance, if they are non-English speaking woman, with low income, a large family and no transport, then they are likely to experience greater barriers to participation.
What you can do
- Target activities and programs for women and girls i.e. gender specific health and fitness programs.
- Catering for the needs of older women through the development of programs specifically tailored to older adults.
- Encourage local women in the community to promote physical activity to girls and women, i.e. promote as role models in the community.
- Providing opportunities for social interaction i.e. combining physical and social activities.
- Widely promote activities and programs for girls and women. It is important to use different media and communication tools for different age groups.
- Circulation of information flyers / vouchers through schools, child care facilities, ethno-specific organisations and senior citizen centres.
- Offer family focused activities.