Indian tennis player Sania Mirza who is gearing up for a comeback to professional tennis after taking a break after pregnancy said that she is proud to have played a part in women taking up a sport. She recalled her only role model in childhood was PT Usha. She added that today's generation has many sportswomen to look up to like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, and Dipa Karmakar.
She was speaking at a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum.
Mirza took a break from her career after achieving many milestones including rising to world no. 27 in the WTA singles chart in 2007. She has 41 WTA doubles titles. She was also ranked no.1 in women's doubles in 2015.
The trailblazer in Indian tennis said that people need to stop telling girls that no one will marry them if they play sports. She called being told that the outdoor sports will turn her skin dark and no one will marry her. She recalled being told so at the age of eight. "I thought to myself that I am just a kid. So I should be fine," she added.
Mirza urged that the culture of 'associating fair skin with pretty and the culture of insisting that a girl need to be pretty' have to change.
Mirza said that she doesn't think that there are equal opportunities for women and the world still has some way to go. She elaborated on society's attitude about professionally successful women and said: "We are still judged on the basis of how good a homemaker they are".