The England women's football team has had white shorts in its jersey for a long time now. However, the jersey was recently changed to replace the white shorts with blue and though there has been no official reason announced for this change, this is allegedly a result of the players' effort to have a more menstruation-friendly jersey.
Female sportswomen's white skirts and shorts have always been a topic of discussion. Considering the fact that often female players have to play while they are on their periods, white shorts and skirts, like that in tennis and rugby, are not very practical and convenient for the players. There have been multiple instances when female players have raised their concerns over the matter which have succeeded and failed equally. While not all sports have considered making their jerseys period-friendly, England's Football Association (FA) has decided to switch the colour of the shorts of female footballers from white to blue.
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England Women Football Team Blue Shorts
The national women's football team of England will have blue shorts instead of white in their new home and away kit. Though FA did not confirm the reason for the switch in the conference held to announce the change in jersey, the team had reportedly raised their concern to Nike, their official sports kit manufacturer, last year and it seems that this is a result of that. England is not the only one to take this step. Ireland has also changed the colour of the shorts of the women's rugby team from white to navy blue. Meanwhile, women's team of football clubs West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City have also switched their white shorts to burgundy and navy respectively.
Though it might seem like just a jersey colour change to some, this step is really important for sportswomen around the world. Menstruation is a difficult time as it is for women and even the common public does not prefer wearing white while on period. It is not because they can't but they have to be careful about staining their white clothes.
Sportswomen don't have the option of skipping games when on their periods. They have to be out there playing and the last thing they want to focus on is their white skirt or shorts staining. It not only shifts their focus from the game but can also put them in uncomfortable situations. Hence, this step comes as a big relief to England's female footballers who can now be entirely focused on their game for the upcoming friendly games with Australia and Brazil as well as the Women's World Cup.
It is to be noted that there are several young girls who give up sports after starting their periods. Even during periods, they avoid playing or practising, sometimes even because of the jersey. Menstruation remains one of the biggest hurdles in encouraging young girls to take up sports. The step is an example of the world accommodating women's needs and trying to make things convenient for them in sports. Every sport in every country should also work towards making jerseys that are convenient to wear for women so that their focus is on the game and not on their dress.
Views expressed by the author are their own.