Women’s football triumphs as USA head to final

Proud: Pink-haired, USA captain Megan Rapinoe has scored five goals, so far, this tournament.

Will the success of the Women’s World Cup bring equality for women everywhere? The US women’s team hopes to win its fourth tournament on Sunday. Back home, they are fighting for equality in all fields.

What’s happening

So that is it: England are out of the Women’s World Cup. The current champions, USA, are heading to Sunday’s final against the Netherlands as the clear favourites. However, perhaps the true winner this year is the sport itself. In the UK, England’s semi-final was watched by 11.7 million people.

Find out more

“The unprecedented popularity of this World Cup reflects two encouraging trends,” says The Economist. “First, the quality of play in the women’s game has improved drastically […]. Second, money is starting to flow into women’s teams, making professional careers more viable.”

One day soon, women’s football may be just as popular as the men’s game.

That is, except in the USA, where women’s soccer is already more popular. It is one of the few countries where the women’s games attract bigger audiences than the men’s.

Despite this, the women on the US national team earn less than their male counterparts. As a result, they are suing the US Soccer Federation for equal pay.

Could this World Cup make women more equal everywhere?

Some say…

Yes. American journalist Bridget Gordon believes the US women’s team has “become a symbol for women’s liberation”, and its players are now “feminist icons”. They are proof that women can be every bit as talented as men. Now, they are fighting for that to be recognised by their employers in front of the entire world. We should all cheer them on.

Others think…

It will take a lot more than an entertaining football tournament to make any serious changes in the battle for real equality. After all, how will the salaries of a few elite athletes help the struggles of ordinary women around the world? As soon as the final match is over, the argument will quickly fade from memory and life will return to normal — inequality.

You Decide

  1. Is women’s football better than men’s?

Activities

  1. Write a news article about the last sports match you watched. (You should be spoilt for choice with the Women’s World Cup, Wimbledon and the Cricket World Cup!)

Some People Say...

“Sometimes, it is worth risking it all for a dream only you can see.”

Megan Rapinoe, US Women’s captain

What do you think?

Word Watch

Unprecedented
Never seen before.
Drastically
In a way that will have a big effect.
Viable
Possible.
Soccer
The American word for what most of the world calls football.
Counterparts
People with the same position in a different place or situation.
Suing
Taking someone to court and asking for money.
Liberation
Freedom.
Feminist
A person who supports feminism (the belief that women and men should be equal).

Subjects

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