There is more urgency than ever that female athletes’ salaries should be brought in line with those of their male counterparts. But there is still a long way to go to close the wage gap in sports.
The road is still long
There’s a positive place to start: There’s been a lot of progress in the last decade on the pay gap between men’s and women’s sports. However, there is still much to be done to create real equality between men and women in sports, both in terms of pay and training opportunities. sports contracts, visibility and representation in institutions The one who rules and commands world sport.
The High Level Group on Gender Equality in Sport, established in 2022 by Marija Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Culture, Research, Education and Youth, presented an action plan that includes: Member states must maintain this until 2026To achieve greater equality between men and women. Instead of checking how the implementation of the plan is going (it is still too early), it is still useful to review some points, because they give a very clear picture of the situation.
For example, among the most urgent issues that need to be solved to reduce the pay gap between men and women in sports are: do better in education. From this perspective, it is essential to work to make the issue of gender equality in sports a clear concept, starting from youth sports, and to create a long-term intersectional impact.
Another element of great importance is seeing people not only as observers but also as human beings. decisive choice to reduce the difference. In fact, it is men who must fight with women for the equalization of salaries and the equal distribution of the most important decision-making roles in federations and international organizations between women and men.
In fact, we can support the development of women’s sport through participation and build it piece by piece. A more balanced sports worldWe are currently rearranging to levels that are completely off the scale. If we take the United States as a reference, a country that is theoretically quite advanced in terms of equal pay, we still see that male athletes earn much more than their female counterparts.
In sports such as basketball, golf, baseball and tennis, the wage gap between male and female players can range from 15% to almost 100%. As an example, the average base salary of an NBA player is approximately forty-four times higher than the average annual salary of a WNBA player; this cannot be justified by the shorter WNBA season (compared to 36 games). To 82 in the NBA. But be careful, because there’s good news coming from the United States, too: the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams they get the same salary.
Football example shows equal pay still a long way off
On the one hand, we have Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe (recently retired), two of the world’s most famous football players returning home in 2022. almost 6 million dollars. On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo earns 136 million according to Forbes.
However, the tip of the iceberg is not the sky-high salaries of Morgan and Rapinoe, but the findings that explain how female football players can be paid in some first-tier leagues. Salaries starting from 600 euros per monthaccording to data FIFprointernational professional footballers’ federation.
On the occasion of the 2023 Women’s Football World Cup, played in New Zealand from 20 July to 20 August, FIFPRO announced that more than 60% of the players participating in the world cup take unpaid leave from another job They will be able to play for their national teams in the World Cup qualifying tournaments. Additionally, 30 percent of the same players did not receive any compensation from the national teams in the last 18 months.
FIFA itself explains in a 2022 document that 23% of the teams qualifying for the World Cup in the federations’ national women’s football championship are amateur-only clubs. They only cover minor expenses for female actors. In short, the numbers are truly grim and we will need to make a strong effort over the next decade to make the public understand that sport needs equality first.