After years of lawsuits, American women’s soccer players finally signed a contract with United States Soccer Federation on September 7 to protect their international competitions before 2028, including FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games, and the competition bonuses they obtained will be equally shared with men after deducted the charge of USSF. America officially entered a new era of gender equality in soccer.
Taipei, TAIWAN (Merxwire) – September 7, 2022, is a special day for the United States women’s national soccer team. After winning the lawsuit for equal pay between the women’s and men’s soccer teams in February this year, they officially signed a contract with United States Soccer Federation (USSF) on this day to guarantee In its international competitions before 2028, including FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games, the men’s and women’s teams will receive an equal share of the prize money after deducting the USSF’s due proportion. American soccer has officially entered a new era of gender equality.
In February 2022, members of the U.S. women’s soccer team and the United States Soccer Federation settled after years of litigation. USSF agreed to fulfill its commitment to “equal pay for men and women” at the World Cup, Olympics, and other events. At the same time compensate the players who filed the lawsuit with 22 million US dollars and promised to open a $2 million charity account to support retired soccer players to achieve their retirement goals and to hold women’s soccer charity events.
On May 18, USSF, USWNTPA, and USNSTPA completed a tripartite group agreement, publicly announcing that the men’s and women’s soccer teams will “equal pay for equal work” in the future. Not only will the competition bonuses be shared equally, but also the revenue of various sponsorship and cooperation projects will be shared equally. At the same time, female players will enjoy the same benefits and additional insurance as male players, pay attention to players’ physical and mental health, and enjoy parental leave. USSF also became the first league in history to share equally the FIFA World Cup prize money between men and women, making gender equality a big step forward in U.S. soccer.
How big is the difference between male and female soccer players? According to statistics, in 2014 FIFA provided a total of 358 million US dollars in prize money for men’s soccer, but the total prize money for women’s soccer in the World Cup was about 15 million US dollars. In 2018, FIFA provided nearly $400 million in prize money for the men’s World Cup, but the total prize money for the 2019 Women’s World Cup was only $30 million, a huge difference that made the audience shout Equal Pay at the women’s football closing ceremony.
It started when five U.S. women’s soccer players filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. In 2019, the U.S. Soccer Federation formally sued before the Women’s World Cup on International Women’s Day for obvious and serious gender discrimination in the training environment, pension system, and other player benefits. In May 2020, the women’s soccer “equal pay” appeal was rejected by the judge due to insufficient supporting documents, and the women’s soccer players continued to appeal. Until 2022 finally got exciting results.
Looking back at the equal pay act of the world’s women’s soccer team the first country to make actual changes was Norway, which signed an equal income agreement for men and women in 2017, followed by New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil, and the United States, which has just joined the ranks, have all begun to implement equal pay for men and women to varying degrees. The women players who have successfully fought and their countries are ranked in the top 20 in the world women’s soccer rankings. But at the same time, some countries are still struggling to fight.
When the U.S. women’s soccer team sued, retired equal rights pioneer Billie Jean King and American tennis star Serena Williams, who also fought for gender equality in tennis, both supported them. They believe that what happens in sports is a microcosm of today’s society. According to statistics, black women in the United States need to work an average of 8 months more than men to get a year’s salary of black men, while the average salary of black women is 83% of that of white women of the same level. Black women are disadvantaged in almost all walks of life. This is a real issue that needs to be addressed.
In 2007, with the efforts of Billie Jean King, Venus Williams, and other allies, the well-known Wimbledon Tennis Open followed in the footsteps of the other three big open tennis tournaments and began to give equal prize money to men and women, writing a new page on equal pay of men and women in tennis, even though there are still many games that still have gender differences in the prize.
After years of struggle, many American women’s soccer athletes, still feel that this gratifying result is very unreal and unbelievable. But everyone is looking forward to the wave of gender equal rights throughout other sports, and spreading to other fields, so that “Equal Pay” is not only a slogan, it can be gradually realized.