Inadequately paid and forced to juggle part time work to stay afloat financially, female athletes are lagging behind male athletes, in terms of equality. To make matters worse, sponsorship and media outlets only have their eyes set on male sport. This teaches society to undervalue female sport, emphasising that it is worthless. Collectively, these factors contribute to the growth of pay discrepancy.
After looking through the television guide I was stunned! Finding an overload of male sports, a channel dedicated to horse racing, and somewhere in amongst that, one single female netball game. When horses are getting more coverage than women clearly there is either an issue or a glitch. It cannot possibly be right!
While male cricketers lounge around with pay packets reaching $2 million, female athletes in contrast are left to struggle, earning between $18,000 and $46,000 (King, 2016). Same role, but there is such a stark difference – a real shame if you ask me.
It is also absolutely appalling that one of Australia’s most successful sporting teams, the Matildas, had to go on strike in order to gain attention for better pay.
Former captain Joey Peters confirmed that the demands of playing soccer internationally with poor pay, negatively affected many teammates as they were unable to maintain a full-time job. She explained that as a result, they found themselves receiving welfare payments (Green, 2015).
“…horses are getting more coverage than women…”
With the attention gained from their strike action, the Matildas’ pay increased from $21,000 to $34,000 (ABC news, 2015). With the $13,000 increase in pay, the Matilda’s yearly earnings are approximately the same as Soccer...
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...slations like the Title IX, would both be effective to ensure minimisation of the pay gap.
But most importantly, by increasing media coverage and sponsorship of female sport, the pay gap will slowly diminish. With these changes, the way female athletes are portrayed will become more positive, which will result in a greater support and audience base.
Female sport is exciting and just as competitive as male sport. It be great for Australia to create change and showcase to the world that we value our female athletes.
To end on a positive note, Australia is progressing slowly, evident by the Southern Stars cricketers, whose recent pay increase has resulted in them being the highest paid female team. But should they be celebrating when Steve Smith will be earning over $2 million yearly, while the Southern Stars salaries will increase to a lousy $100,000? (Netto, 2016).
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