It has been all over the news, the request by Cricket Australia that when signing a contract, women players need to state they are not currently pregnant and subsequently to alert the organisation and team doctor if they fall pregnant.
There were also reports in The AUSTRALIAN… ‘that the players are not provided with maternity leave provisions available to other employees at Cricket Australia.’
Will this become a reoccurring issue as women’s sport rises in popularity?
Was Cricket Australia doing as they suggest simply putting the player’s health and safety first? Or is this symptomatic of a larger problem, that sporting organisations just don’t know how to deal with professional female athletes without resulting in gender bias?
“We were fascinated with Shine to explore the complicated world of fertility and female athletes.” She states, “As Liz Ellis informs us in the book ‘Fertility waits for no woman,’ so it is certainly an issue that sporting bodies need to address if they want to extend the playing careers of their female athletes and allow them to lead balanced lives outside of sport.”
“For those who have doubts about the need to provide maternity leave entitlements to female athletes, I’d urge you to read the stories featured in Shine to better understand the sacrifices made by these athletes and the impact that policies like this can have on their careers and their lives.” Megan concludes.
It is an interesting question, when is an employer such as Cricket Australia intruding into a woman’s personal life and possibly prejudicing that player for selection, and when is it a duty of care by the employer to the player to provide for her safety?