Why equal pay for equal work has finally become a reality for USWNT

After decades of fighting for recognition and wealth এবং and spending more than a few hours on the court finally the equal pay for the U.S. women’s national team has arrived. On Wednesday, the US Soccer Federation agreed with the US Women’s National Team Players ‘Association and the US National Soccer Team Players’ Association that they had reached a landmark collective bargaining agreement, leaving both teams under the same compensation umbrella for the first time in history. .

CBA will run throughout 2028, and basically does what it says: women and men have agreed to the same terms. Both teams will be paid the same amount at camp, street and game and will be compensated at the same rate while participating in the equivalent competition.

For many who have sacrificed their lives in this sport, the announcement is a huge emotional victory. The USWNT wanted renewed support from their counterparts and a healthier relationship with their federation than many other countries. But to analyze the real significance of the agreement, you have to look internally at the history of sports in the United States, then externally at how it affects the game worldwide.

For instance, casual people may never have known that USWNT players have been paid employees of the federation for years if it had not been a significant part of the team’s gender discrimination lawsuit filed in March 2019. The league pays its biggest stars to allow it to find its feet financially. The promise to ensure a stable income for players quickly became both a legal defense for the federation এবং and its potential public collapse.

Legally, US Soccer probably had a point when they said that the compensation offered to women at the 2017 CBA was not comparable to the offer offered to men, if you ignore the social forces of the game. The USWNPTA, perhaps for a very long time, opted for a system that prioritizes the security of its core player pool over the high-risk, high-reward of the per-service bonus structure. Both sides disagreed on whether the bonus-based CBA was on the table at the time, but the deal reflected the instability of the club ecosystem on the basis of negotiations, taking a very cautious approach to NWSL growth. If you do not make a living with your club, the guarantee becomes a lifeline at the national team level.

There is reason to believe that US Soccer actually won the case against their most acclaimed team, but they have already done themselves irreparable damage in the referendum court. Public filings filed in early 2020 revealed something really ugly at the core of the organization, arguing that women “need equal skills and do not work equally [and] Efforts for men “because” the overall ability of senior men to play soccer at the national team level is physically affected by certain physical characteristics such as speed and strength levels. “Suddenly, no one was hiding behind the revenue or the contract; People said that there is no merit in discrimination case because men and women are not equal and do not work equally.

At the time, speculation was rife that US Soccer would allow their relationship with USWNT to be completely severed, spend millions on legal fees, and alienate sponsors and fans alike in an attempt to prove it right in court. But the federation has allowed itself to be diverted. President Carlos Cordeiro resigned and was replaced by former USWNT player Cindy Parlo Shanku. Immediately, the temperature between the women’s team and the federation cooled down, despite significant losses in revenue due to the epidemic and the team’s stony performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

In 2022, US Soccer placed a bet on its players and USWNT placed a bet on itself. They have settled the case, a CBA is being approved, and the case has now been moved. Club opportunities, Both in the United States and abroad, Growing up fast, and the stars of the game no longer have to fall behind in national team contracts for fear of breaking up the league. This brings back a healthy amount of balance in the player pool, guaranteeing a thing of the call-up past. USWNT players must earn their place in both their club and national team camps and will only be rewarded for their current performance.

Players are also hoping the deal will have a ripple effect outside the United States. The United States is not the first country to pay men and women equally, even though they were unique in their previous pay structure. The Netherlands announced in 2019 that they would gradually increase their women’s compensation until 2023, when they would be equal to men. Other teams like Australia, New Zealand and Norway have done the same

But the external impact of what the USWNT and USMNT achieved on Wednesday is greater than that of the federation, which is why cooperation between the two unions has become essential. Parlo Shanku has made it clear on multiple occasions that the federation is ready for an economically identical model, with equal pay for both senior team squads. In a way, the bad press arising from the precedents and lawsuits elsewhere have made that element of discussion a key issue.

However, US Soccer will not move on to a bigger issue: the meaning of the FIFA award. No one puts FIFA on a pedestal for any part of their sport stewardship, but their attitude towards women’s sports was mostly a thought. There wasn’t even a Women’s World Cup until 1991, and the organization often used top women’s tournaments as a testing ground for their more controversial ideas. They tested the rules at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, which was later scrapped, and while they dropped the unpopular idea of ​​hosting the World Cup every two years in the men’s event, the possibility remained as a threat to women.

Their attitude is reflected in the FIFA bonus given at the World Cup. In 2019, the total amount of World Cup bonus money allocated for the Women’s World Cup that year was 30 million, of which $ 4 million went to USWNT for all these wins. In 2018, the Men’s World Cup was awarded $ 400 million, of which $ 38 million went to France as champions. The gap between the two tournaments has increased with each passing cycle; Even though the World Cup for women doubled the amount between 2015 and 2019, the increase in the dollar exchange rate for men still surpassed them.

It should be noted that FIFA, like US Soccer, is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the game of football for all. The revenue arguments, as exciting as they may be, are not relevant to these companies, according to their own internal reasoning. If you have a mission statement that your job is to extend the game to all corners of the world, then we come up with subsidized areas until we live in a society of equal opportunity. If your company is not committed to making equal opportunity a reality, the subsidy will be around for a while.

But with FIFA’s financial reluctance to allow women to play, US soccer made it very clear that they could not afford to replicate the eight-figure gap, and that the solution would have to come from the players. That part of Wednesday’s deal is truly historic, and progressive in a way that obviously still makes some people uncomfortable.

Men and women will pool their prize money, which means that what will be achieved in Qatar in 2022 and in Australia in 2023 will become a (hopefully larger) figure of equally divided money. Perhaps more significantly, the same procedure applies to the 2026 and 2027 tournaments, the first of which will be held in North America., With the hope that USMNT can run their deepest World Cup.

It takes a little faith and vision to see how good it is for everyone and the USMNT deserves credit for having both. Instead of focusing on giving up something for men, one has to look at it as a financial burden of sexuality that is now affecting both parties equally. With the written agreement, it is expected that FIFA will be put under more pressure to address the gaps they have created and other federations will be encouraged to take similar action. If everyone gets on board, and the USWNT continues to win, the men don’t stand to lose at all.

Solidarity goes a long way, as the USWNT has pushed for the addition of maternity leave and other parental benefits to men’s contracts, with the understanding that men are also eligible for non-gender treatment. It is also an important step in the relationship between the male and female groups, which has historically been somewhat suppressed, as the failure of men has become a food for argument against the federation’s treatment of women.

In short, the CBA encourages both teams financially as best they can, and gives US soccer a reason to contribute equally to their success. There’s still work to be done, but sometimes the beauty of an acting like Wednesday comes from an innate simplicity after decades of complexity. The slogan says, equal pay for equal play: decades of work are reflected in a single sentence, and now, a reality.

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