GOAL! Achieving equal pay on the soccer field

June 22, 2022

The AOM applauds the perseverance of United States Women's National Team Players Association pursuing and achieving gender justice in sport. After years of fighting for equal pay in professional soccer, the United States Soccer Federation (US Soccer), the United States Women's National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) and the United States National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA) have agreed to a deal that achieves equal pay.

One of the most notable gains in the new contract is that it will equalize FIFA World Cup compensation. If either the USWNTPA and USNSTPA teams win, the prize money is pooled and then divided equally among the players. Furthermore, US Soccer will share a portion of its broadcast, partner and sponsorship revenue that will also be divided equally between the teams. Hopefully this historic precedent sparks a shift in soccer/football pay equity internationally.

In 2019 the US women’s team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer and reached an agreement earlier this year. Part of this agreement requires US Soccer to pay $22 million to their players and an additional $2 million into an account to benefit US women’s team players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer.

The gender pay gap for US women’s team seemed unbridgeable for years. US Soccer holds considerable power as both the employer of US women’s team and regulator of the sport. Through their legal action and persistent advocacy US women’s team has emerged victorious and has set historic precedent for professional sport.

The Association of Ontario Midwives hopes that the Ford government will take a page from the US Soccer and USNSTPA, who have taken a bold position to remedy the systematic discrimination in professional soccer and reset their relationship with US women’s team instead of continuing to resist gender justice. After two failed appeals, maybe the Ford government will now commit to finally closing the gender pay gap for midwives.