(Featured Image from US Soccer’s Official Facebook page)
Core members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team have come out and challenged the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) to treat women and men as equals and raise the women’s national team pay to close the gap between what the men’s soccer team is compensated.
Looking at the numbers from the article, women are being paid just $3600 while the men are being paid $5000 per match. In other words, the women’s national team are being paid 28% less than the men’s national team.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, women earned 18% less than men. Even though the numbers are based on stats from 2013, the gap between women and men soccer players for the U.S. National Team is 10% more than the nation.
Inequality between the women’s national team and men’s national team also exists in Japan. Even after Japan won the 2011 Women’s World Cup, the women’s national team had to ride “premium” economy while the men’s (under-23) national team rode in business class. By the way, the women went all the way to the final and received a silver medal after falling to the U.S. while the men were defeated in the 3rd place match by rivals South Korea.
Why does this gap ー inequality ー exist?
WSJ – Revenue in Women’s Soccer
Unfortunately, the Men’s World Cup and men’s international matches attract much, much more revenue than the Women’s World Cup and women’s international matches.
Does total revenue justify a 28% gap between women and men?
It depends on your stance.
If you are running a business, revenue and numbers are enough to justify such a gap; however, if you are trying to treat humans as equals, numbers are not sufficient.
Because this is a blog, I will clearly state my stance on this issue:
the gap between men and women should be reduced. Ideally, the gap should be diminished, but we currently live in a world full of contradictions. A world where governments (like the US and Japan [look at the truth behind maternity leave in both countries]) and people with authority push for gender equality, but the reality is that women are still treated like, “second-class citizens,” to borrow words from Carli Lloyd.
If the U.S. Women National Team do boycott the upcoming Olympic Games and the inequality which exists between men and women disappears, they will be remembered as pioneers.
Standing up for something you believe in is truly admirable.