The Australian Women’s National Football Team made history last week after gaining an equal pay deal.
The Australian Women’s national team has been a focus in women’s football over the last couple of years and have performed well in recent tournaments with them reaching the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup in three of the last four tournaments whereas the furthest their male counterparts have gone is Round of 16 in the tournament.
This a major moment in women’s football as they are the first to achieve equal pay and this will hopefully give inspiration to other International football teams around the world that they can attain something this big and it could be just right around the corner for them.
Australia Women’s defender Alana Kennedy said “It’s been a long time coming and it’s well overdue” the Orlando Pride star was not the only Matilda to think this was a big step forward with Portland Thorns Ellie Carpenter saying “I think the other countries and federations will take a look at themselves and see if they can do that as well”
The Gender Pay Gap In Football
Australia is not the only team fighting for equal pay.
In March of this year, the USA Women’s National Team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S Soccer Federation alleging that their payment practices amount to federal discrimination by paying women less than men.
The lawsuit was filed by 28 players, they allege that they are paid less than their male counterparts simply because of their gender. Following on from their back to back World Cup wins and their increasingly growing popularity, they believe that these are contributing factors in their fight for equal pay.
U.S Soccer responded saying that the pay gap stems from “differences in aggregate revenue generated by the different teams and/or any other factor other than sex” and argued that they are “physically and functionally separate organisations”
You also have to look at the difference in competition prize money with 2018 Men’s World Cup having 400 million dollars available for their winner whereas the Women’s World Cup only had 30 million dollars in prize money available for their winners.
What Does This Mean For Australia?
Under the new deal, Australia’s top women’s players will now earn the same as the men’s top tier players. An increased share of prize money from certain competitions such as qualifying for a FIFA World Cup, they’ll now also be entitled to 40%, rising to 50%, if they reach the knockout rounds of the World Cup.
This does not stop the men from earning more prize money from the competition due to the Men’s World Cup rewards being much higher.
This is a major step in the women’s game that could prompt movement all around the world when it comes to female athletes and their sport. It was confirmed last week (insert link) that as part of a new four-year deal Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated by Football Federation Australia and the Professional Footballers Association, the Matildas will share 24% of an ‘agreed aggregated” of both their and Socceroos generated revenue, increasing by 1% each year of the deal.
Women’s football is on the rise but momentous occasions like this prove just how far we still need to go in order for the game to be equal pay for equal play.