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Women in Sports, India vs Pakistan vs Bangladesh: A comparison

Lokesh M. E
877   //    27 Jul 2018, 16:49 IST

Women stars of Indian and Pakistani sports
Women stars of Indian and Pakistani sports

Indian sportswomen who had little presence until a decade ago have witnessed an astonishing rise recently. Indian sportswomen are winning medals in Olympics, World Cups and numerous other international events and making their nation proud.

Pakistan meanwhile have always been competitive when it comes to Men's sports, be it cricket, hockey, squash or kabaddi. But Pakistani women have rarely made headlines the world over.

Bangladesh, which was far behind both India and Pakistan, has finally caught up. Bangladesh beat India twice at the Women's Twenty20 Asia Cup 2018 recently, marking their arrival on the big stage.

On that note, let us analyze and compare the performance of women athletes from these three countries, i.e Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, in major world events like Commonwealth Games, Olympics and South Asian Games.

Note: India is a large country in terms of both population and economy compared to both Pakistan and Bangladesh. It would not be fair to compare the raw numbers of these countries, instead we will compare the number of women in each country to the number of men.

2018 Commonwealth Games

CWG Number of Participating Athletes- Bangladesh vs India vs Pakistan
2018 Common Wealth Games Participants by country

India has the highest number of participants in both Men and Women, but it is expected as it is a large country. The Female/Male ratio of 0.91 is not exactly ideal but it is fairly decent, given that there are fewer events for women when compared to men. It is indicative of good female participation in sports. Among the medal winners, 28 were women and 35 were men, while 3 were won in mixed events.

Pakistan, interestingly, has a higher number of men participating in comparison to the number of female participants. The Female/Male ratio of 0.22 is quite low. All the 5 medals were won by men and none by women.

Bangladesh have low numbers for both men and women, but they have an excellent Female/Male ratio of 1.3. Women participants did not win any medal while the men won two.


2016 Asian Games

Number of Participants by country and gender

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2016 South Asian Games Participants by country

India had a Female/Male ratio of 0.89 while the average for the tournament was 0.77

Pakistan had a Female/Male ratio of 0.73

Bangladesh had a Female/Male ratio of 0.70

Number of Medal winners by country and gender

2016 South Asian Games Medal winners by country
2016 South Asian Games Medal winners by country

Among the medal winners, India had a Female/ Male ratio of 0.90

Pakistan had an abysmal Female/Male ratio of 0.54

Bangladesh had a Female/Male ratio of 1.28. Bangladeshi women outperformed the men in terms of medals, while the absence of competition from Pakistan's female athletes helped immensely.

2016 Summer Olympics

2016 Summer Olympics- Bangladesh vs India vs Pakistan
2016 Summer Olympics- Participants by country

Both Pakistan and Bangladesh had a Female/Male ratio of 0.75, but it must be noted that all 7 of the Pakistani athletes were given a wildcard entry, while 6/7 Bangladeshi athletes were given a wildcard entry.

India had a Female/Male Ratio of 0.86.


India has a healthy rate of female participation in sports. Indian women have been world beaters in sports like badminton, shooting, wrestling, weightlifting, cricket, hockey, kabaddi, tennis and table tennis to name a few.

Pakistan, with lower Female/Male ratios, which are close to 0.5, has a lot to do regarding female participation. Pakistani women have not yet made their presence felt in world sports except Cricket. They do not have a hockey team or a kabaddi team while the men do.

Bangladesh has a low presence in sports overall, but it has a healthy female participation.