The Recognition Wins on the Field: Women's Equality in the American Soccer Federation
On May 18th, 2022, the American soccer federation announced an agreement with the players' associations that formalizes equal pay between women's and men's national teams.
The Woman Post | Silvia Manuela Gutiérrez Rodríguez
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This initiative is essential because US Soccer is the first Federation to equate World Cup awards to men's and women's teams. In an interview, the US Soccer Federation President, Cindy Parlow, stated that the contract dictated that women soccer players will have the same: Financial terms, game payouts, matching world cup prize money, business deals, revenue sharing, and, on top of that, health benefits. Also, something fundamental she mentioned was that the agreement is entirely fair because the most important thing was to make a reality the labor rights demanded by the players and denied over all these years.
The women soccer players were looking to advance equal pay for themselves and the men's team through the Federation, and, after six years of trials, they finally succeeded. Thanks to this struggle and journey, many other countries like the football federations of New Zealand, Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, and Denmark have also closed the gender pay gaps between their players, encouraging sports to be equal in every single way everywhere.
The proposal is quite interesting and well seen by many people since it also opens and increases soccer careers for women, standing out their effort and carrying about their opportunities. This encourages women's employment and promotes equal conditions and earnings, highlighting skills, talent, and the recognition of the training and the hard work women do on the field. However, in popular opinion, some think it would probably be good to have more "meritocracy" because it would also be important to recognize competitiveness in this area since not all players play the same quantity or quality.
Another adverse opinion is that the primary beneficiaries of the income are the male and female players who have not pleased members of the lower categories who are afraid that investment in the development of young talent will stop.
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Likewise, a soccer player, Sydney Leroux, stated: "I spend more money on babysitters than I earn playing. You cannot survive on a salary from the club; the players combine different jobs". This is another example of motherhood seen from the perspective of this field. The institution even increases the fact that men forget their parental role and that women bend their work with less recognition. Hopefully, that problem will decrease due to the maternity and paternity license the team will have. To this is added a childcare service during the soccer players' trips or stays with the national team.
There are so many different opinions and points of view. Nevertheless, it is vital to recognize the big step and what this achievement means to women soccer players; the Federation started to be conscious of the women's careers importance. The sacrifice women make is just the same as men. Women deserve the same payment as men because the recognition of their sacrifice is the same—all of these aspects, not only on the field but in every single institution and job.