Progress made but there’s still a long way to go
June 18 2019 01:55 AM

The story is not new but still resonates in the ongoing debate over differing pay for men and women in sport.
In 1989, the German football federation (DFB) rewarded the women who won the European Championship with a porcelain tea set.
A year later their men each pocketed a more traditional bonus — the equivalent of 64,100 euros (71,900 dollars) for winning the World Cup.
The numbers in elite sport have increased considerably in the last 30 years, as has the discussion around the topic brought to life once more by the Women’s World Cup in France.
Why are men and women not paid the same for the same sporting achievement?
Unlike the their predecessors, the German women in France under coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg will not receive crockery but 75,000 euros per player should they win the World Cup next month.
That is a clear improvement but still 275,000 euros less than the men would have taken had they won the 2018 World Cup in Russia — rather than going out in the first round.
“You can only treat like with like,” DFB interim-president Rainer Koch told ARD.
With the women’s team “revenue remains far from that which can be realised in men’s football.”
That is not untrue: the television viewing figures and therefore income for the federations is much less than from those events featuring Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar.
It is similar in tennis, though to a lesser extent, but the four Grand Slam events offer equal prize money to men and women.
The singles champions at Wimbledon next month will both go home with more than 2.5mn euros.
Biathlon and athletics have also reached equality with 15,000 euros available last season for every World Cup win last winter and 25,000 euros for a world title, regardless of gender.
The athletics governing body IAAF has paid out equal prize money since its 1997 world championships in Athens with 60,000 dollars available for victories and 100,000-dollar bonus for a world record.
Alpine skiers are also treated equally with at least 120,000 Swiss francs (107,000 dollars) divided up at each World Cup race.
Some organisers such as Kitzbuehel (men) and Flachau (women) then top this up.
“I am extremely proud of my sport that there is no gender pay gap,”
said star Mikaela Shiffrin.
The American, after a sensational season,
was the top prize-money earner in the sport even ahead of men’s champion Marcel Hirscher — himself an undisputed great.
The biggest remaining gaps appear with the biggest differences in TV interest.
Along with the football World Cups, the US Open in golf has more than a 1-million dollar differential between what was banked by Gary Woodland on Sunday and women’s winner Lee Jeong Eun.
Some sports even struggle to be sustainable at all.
The NHL hockey league is considered the best in the world, as is the women’s equivalent NWHL.
But the 200 or so players of the NWHL are threatening a strike before the new season as they demand better conditions.
There is no health insurance and some play for just 2,000 dollars — per year.
Progress has been made but there is certainly a long way to go.

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