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The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) is claiming that it's ok to pay women less than men because the women "do not perform equal work requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility."
Champion U.S. women soccer players are paid far less than men for doing essentially the same job. This isn't just patently sexist, it's also absurd given that the U.S. Men's team didn't even qualify for the last World Cup tournament while the women have won four World Cup titles, as well as bringing in more revenue than the men's team for the past three years.2According to the USSF's logic it takes more skill to watch the World Cup than it does to win it.
US soccer player Kelley O’Hara said it best: the only difference between the Women’s World Cup and the Men’s World Cup is that "one has men play in it and one has women play in it." And yet, in ordinary games, women earn drastically less than men when they win. And when women win the World Cup their bonus is five times less than the men's bonus would be if they won. They earn less in sponsorships, and even get a smaller amount per day for meals when traveling.
Women soccer players are suing the USSD for equal pay, but court battles take a long time and lots of money. USSF could fix this right now, by paying all of the players' salaries and bonuses equally, regardless of gender.
Together, we can cheer the U.S. Women's National team to a victory in their battle for equal pay. And it's not just about soccer. In the U.S. the pay gap means a woman loses an average of $400,000 over a lifetime--and it's much higher for most women of color.
The USSF can be an example for decision-makers across the country by paying women equal to men--but it's going to take a LOT of us demanding they listen.
Sign the petition for equal pay for the U.S. Women's National team.