Feminism in Sports: the Breakthroughs and the Setbacks

By Ava Lee-Green

Women’s and girls’ participation in sports is on the rise. With the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup right around the corner, there has been a lot of conversation about not only the United States Women’s National Team’s (USWNT) chances of bringing home a fifth World Cup title but their fight for equal pay.

Trailblazers: The United States Women’s National Soccer Team

Jamie Smed from Cincinnati, Ohio, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The USWNT has been a dominant force in soccer for years, winning four FIFA Women’s World Cups (1991, 1999, 2015, 2019) and four Olympic gold medals. Despite their overwhelming success, they have been fighting for equal pay. After being crowned World Cup Champions in 2011, the USWNT only received $1.8 million to split amongst the 24 players. In contrast, the men’s team received $5 million the year before, despite only making it to the Round of 16.  

In 2019, all 28 members of the USWNT filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, claiming that they were paid less than the men’s team despite generating more revenue. Many people also argued that the USWNT deserved equal pay and treatment because they had achieved more success than the men’s team…

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