International Women's Day 2021
Today we celebrated International Women's Day where a panel of guests discussed the importance of speaking about women's issues in the workplace and working towards a future that will see equality for women. I think having these discussions is also important in sports or activities where women are generally a minority or have low engagement. Filipino Martial Arts is no exception to this.
A recent FMA community survey created by Arlene Pinpin Stevens found that the reasons for low female FMA enrolment were lack of awareness, lack of accessibility, gender stereotypes, intimidation/inferiority, or preferring other arts/activities. The women thought lack of awareness and accessibility was their number one reason, while the men thought gender stereotyping as the number one reason. In the same survey reasons for female dropouts were FMA culture, community support, physical, psychological, and personal/resources as being the number one reason.
You are definitely a minority if you are a woman in FMA. Not only does this make things more challenging but really highlights how the FMA community can grow and encourage more women to join. I am one of the few women in Australia who practice this art. I could probably count the women on one hand. Yet the idea that FMA in Australia being a hidden martial arts known only by a few makes it attractive, which I kinda like. However, I think there should be more women in martial arts, there should be more female leaders blazing the trail for the next generations.
Join the Hagunos Sang Sundang 'Swift of the Blade': International Women's Support Group on facebook and connect with us.