Goal! Women football stars win same pay as men

Mind the gap: the highest earning male footballers earn 100 times more than the women. © Getty

Should all football teams be made to pay women the same? The Brazilian side has become one of several countries to pay its male and female players equally for representing their country.

What’s happening

“We play the same sport.” Marta said. “There should be equal pay for us all.

It was 2019 and Marta was captain of Brazil’s women’s team.

Today, a year later, she has won her battle. The Brazilian Football Federation says it will pay its women players the same as men.

Find out more

President Rogerio Caboclo made the announcement adding, ‘There will be no more gender difference.”

The English FA made a similar announcement last week. Australia, Norway and New Zealand also pay their women players the same as the men.

But these countries are in the minority. Current women’s world champions, the United States, have been fighting for equal pay for over a year – but with no success.

Captain Megan Rapinoe has spoken a lot about the issue. She thinks that male players should be campaigning as well. “I want to shout: ‘Cristiano…help me!’”, she said in one interview.

The US team has won the FIFA World Cup four times, making them the most successful women’s team in the world.

So, should all teams be made to pay women the same as men?

Some say…

No. Football clubs are businesses. And businesses need to make money. Men’s games are more popular with fans. Popular clubs sell more tickets and gain more television viewers. As a result, organisers and advertisers make more profit. If male players are making more money for their club, it’s only fair that they should be paid more.

Others think…

Yes! Paying women less sends out the message that the women’s game is less important and less attractive; so it puts people off watching. Introducing equal pay could break this vicious cycle. If clubs had to pay women the same as men, it would change how the public values women’s football. Viewers would increase, and the clubs would make more money.

You Decide

  1. Do male players have a responsibility to campaign for equal pay, too?

Activities

  1. Imagine you are going to interview Marta. Come up with five questions to ask her.

Some People Say...

“My coach said I run like a girl, and I said if he ran a little faster he could, too.”

Mia Hamm, US footballer and double Olympic gold medallist.

What do you think?

Word Watch

Marta
Marta Vieira da Silva is a Brazilian footballer known by most people simply as Marta. She holds the record for the most goals scored in World Cup tournaments with 17 goals.
FA
Short for The Football Association, this is the governing body for football in England.
Minority
To be in a small group that is different from the majority.
Cristiano
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s most successful footballers with millions of fans. Rapinoe thinks he should use this popularity to fight inequality.
Profit
When you make more money than you spend. A business needs to turn a profit in order to be successful.
Vicious cycle
A series of negative situations or effects that build on each other. As a result, a problem can get worse and becomes difficult to solve.

Subjects

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.