The football pitch is the latest battleground for gender equality as women players prove they are not just playing to win. In fact they want the same quid pro quo from sponsors that the men get. And it’s starting to happen. Last month, the financial services company Barclays announced a multimillion-pound sponsorship with the Women’s Super League in the United Kingdom.
But an eight-figure deal isn’t enough to level the playing field. The women are still subjected to gender discrimination as proven by Ada Hegerberg’s win of the prestigious Ballon d’Or. Last December, the Norwegian player became the first female in history to win the award. But the incredible moment was ruined when the presenter asked her if she knew how to twerk.
Separately, 28 members of the world champion United States women’s team have filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against their country’s football federation. The women are seeking pay equity and better working conditions including where they play, how they travel to matches, and even how they’re coached.
The women have a good shot at victory, if the past is any indication. The team has gone up against FIFA, the global governing body for football, over prize money for the Women’s World Cup which FIFA has agreed to double at this summer’s games. On this episode of The Stream we speak with a group of women footballers and ask them about what it will take to even the score.
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