The gender inequality in rowing is narrowing, but there is still a long way to go for women to be on an equal pedestal as men, according to women rowers at Tyne Rowing Club.

The boat race between Oxford and Cambridge has been an annual televised event since 1938, but has always been dominated by men.

The women, whose first boat race was in 1927, have been rowing the week before the men’s event over a course on Henley-on-Thames, which is 40 miles West of London. This race was not broadcast live.

However, that all changed this year.

The women competed on the same course and on the same day as the men, for the first time ever, broadcast live on television.

Tyne rower Sarah Cunnold believes this finally signals gender equality in rowing.

She said: “With the boat race, I think now the equality is there. You have got the women’s rowing at the Olympics, which was broadcast on the same level, and then now we’ve got the Boat Race, which is broadcast on the same level.

“So hopefully inequality is going to start to disappear.”

Fellow women’s rower Louise Purdy believes that inequality does still exist, however, and that progress is still to be made.

“They should hold male and female events in equal esteem and not just say this is the highlights from the women’s football match or rowing race, but here’s the entire of the men’s. There’s a bit of a gender dis-balance there I think.”



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