On Tuesday, September 6, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team signed a landmark equal pay agreement guaranteeing identical pay with members of the men’s team. This is the result of a long fight that women’s soccer activists have carried out to receive gender equality in payment. Activists within the women’s structure have been fighting for this for years, and the women’s team formally filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against this in 2019. Some players, such as star Megan Rapinoe, have been particularly vocal on issues such as this, and have taken other stands for social justice such as kneeling for the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd.
Despite having a much more successful national team over the years and winning back-to-back World Cups, female U.S. soccer players have been paid much less than their male counterparts. Their new signed agreement, which runs through 2028, means they will receive identical pay structures, revenue sharing, and equal distribution of World Cup prize money.
While gender inequality in pay remains a central feature of the capitalist system, we can take inspiration from this successful fight by female soccer players against the sexism of this society.