USWNT Got a Big Win, But the Fight for Gender Pay Equity Is Far From Over

by Shine My Crown Staff
Christen Press of USA seen in action during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup match between USA and Chile.

Last week’s Two’s Day (2/22/22) was a day of celebration for the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) in their long and consistent battle for equal pay.

There is no denying that in the U.S., women lead when it comes to winning on the international stage.

The USWNT has won four Olympic gold medals, four world cup titles, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups. Yet despite their unrivaled success, the soccer field has remained a space of continuing struggle over pay equity between women and men in competitive sports.

Unequal pay is as American as apple pie. The gender gap has remained consistent for at least the past fifteen years, with women earning approximately 84% of what men earn. This figure doesn’t account for the discrepancies that arise when one is a woman and a member of a racial group outside of whiteness.

Nevertheless, the Pew Research Center continues to highlight that when it comes to yearly earnings of full- and part-time workers, it would take women an extra 42 days of work to earn the equivalent of what men did in 2020.

In women’s soccer, there is a clear difference in investments put into a broad spectrum of women’s sports which is manifested in a lack of adequate training equipment and playing fields

Make no mistake. Gender pay discrimination is very real.

A 2017 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center noted that approximately 42% of women (four in ten working women that is) responded that they had faced gender discrimination in the workplace compared to 22% (one in ten) men. For the last six years, the members of the USWNT have pursued gender equity with respect to their treatment as elite athletes. The women have fought for their wages and, more significantly, whether or not they “deserved” to have the same charter flights and better overall training conditions that the men’s team received.

Last week’s settlement agreement marked a turning point in this larger fight.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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