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Friday, May 14, 2021

WOMEN OF WESTERN: #EQUALPLAYEQUALPAY

The fight for equal wages and gender equality is a long standing battle. Countless speeches, protests and movements have brought attention to this issue but a solution has never resulted.

Over the past few weeks you may have seen the hashtag #EqualPlayEqualPay trending on Twitter or other social media feeds. #EqualPlayEqualPay is in support of the five United States Women’s National Soccer Team players who filed a lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission two weeks ago.

Why go as far as filing a lawsuit?

Women in soccer are paid approximately 20 percent to 60 percent less than male players, according to attorney Jeffrey Kessler. Despite the U.S. women’s team winning the World Cup in July 2015, they are still paid significantly less even though the men’s team placed 11th.

Not only are women paid less, they are paid less often than men. While men are paid approximately $17,000 for each exhibition women are topped off at $5,000 and are only paid for the first 20 exhibitions.

“The women’s team does the identical work as the men’s team, except they have outperformed in every way,” Kessler said. “The U.S. Soccer Federation made profit of $16 million on women’s team last year. It had a loss on men’s team.”

But, according to a New York Times article, there is already an existing collective bargaining agreement that does not expire until the end of the year.

This would make the battle for equal wages that much longer.

Senior Jacob Brittle, a biology major, finds it disappointing  that women are not paid as much as men. Brittle said women shouldn’t have to fight for equal pay in the first place, that they should be getting paid the same, if not more considering how successful the Women’s National team has been.

“[The lawsuit] will raise awareness, it will definitely change things, I don’t think it’s going to be okay overnight but it’s a good step in the right direction” Brittle said.

Twitter was flooded with support for the U.S. women’s team and many celebrities showed their support as well.

Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show showed support for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team on the show on April 5, 2016.

Kelley O’hara, midfielder for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team tweets,  “It’s pretty simple…” referring to equal wages.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer supports #EqualplayEqualpay, directing his tweet at co-captain Carli Lloyd.

Let The Western Front know what you think about unequal wages by tweeting @TheFrontOnline.

Jillian Powers, Women of Western reporter // @jillian_powers // Photo by Ian Koppe
Jillian Powers, Women of Western reporter // @jillian_powers // Photo by Ian Koppe

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