1Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and psychology, Tehran Shomal Branch, Azad University, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Physical Education and Sport science, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran
3MA of Psychology, Tehran Shomal branch, Azad University, Tehran, Iran
4Department of psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Farhangian University, Iran
Introduction: In most societies, participation in sports has been primarily a male realm. Nonetheless, women in sports advocates have proven that women are also capable and have a place in the sports world (Sandoz &winans, 1999). Participation rates among women and girls are much lower than among men. Understanding sport participation, including retention and drop out at all ages across the lifespan, is vital to inform policies and strategies to promote lifelong participation, priorities of both sport management and public health domains (Australian Sports Commission, 2014).
Methods: This study aimed to identify the challenges of women's participation in sports activities. The present study was qualitative research with a phenomenological approach. Participants in the study included all single women in rural Kurdistan who were selected by purposive sampling method. The interview data collection tool was semi-structured. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.
Results: The results of the analysis of the interviews led to the identification of four themes: cultural barriers, expensive equipment, and facilities, lack of suitable sports facilities, lack of motivation.
Conclusion: Despite its necessity, women's activities have always been influenced by cultural stereotypes about participating in social activities, especially women's sports activities. According to Nixon, Maresca, and Silverman (1979), women athletes have been hypothesized to experience gender role conflict, especially if they engage in sports traditionally regarded as more masculine, because society is still more comfortable with women who participate in sports that emphasize traditional feminine characteristics such as grace and beauty.