Women's sports, both amateur and professional, have existed throughout the world for centuries in all varieties of sports. Female participation and popularity in sports increased dramatically in the 20th century, especially in the last quarter-century, reflecting changes in modern societies that emphasize gender parity. Although the level of participation and performance still varies greatly by country and by sport, women's sports are generally accepted throughout the world today. However, despite a rise in women's participation in sports, a large disparity in participation rates between women and men remains. These disparities are prevalent globally and continue to hinder equality in sports. Many institutions and programs still remain conservative and do not contribute to gender equity in sports. Women who play sports face many obstacles today, such as lower pay, less media coverage, and different injuries compared to their male counterparts. Many female athletes have engaged in peaceful protests, such as playing strikes, social media campaigns, and even federal lawsuits to address these inequalities.