The U.S. women’s soccer team will now earn the same amount of money as their male counterparts, thanks to a landmark equal pay agreement. After battling for years over the issue, victory belongs to the women’s team in the new collective bargaining agreement that was ratified on Tuesday.
The agreement achieves “equal pay and set the global standard moving forward in international soccer.” The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) and the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) will receive the same pay from now on, including appearance fees and game bonuses. They’ll also be afforded the same working conditions when it comes to training camps, staffing, traveling, and a safe workplace.
“This is a truly historic moment,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world.”
Arguably the best part of the equal pay deal (aside from, you know, equal pay): the childcare component. Thanks to the new agreement, U.S. Soccer will provide childcare for the women’s team—as it has for the men’s team for more than 25 years.
The new bargaining agreement comes just two months after the USWNT Players Association and the United States Socer Federation announced an agreement to resolve outstanding equal pay claims in litigation after a six-year legal battle between the two sides.
The terms of that settlement included $22 million to the named players in the case. The USSF also agreed to establish a players fund with $2 million to benefit players during their post-soccer careers and invest in charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women.
While there is certainly a lot to celebrate with this news, it’s almost unfathomable to realize that the disparities between the two teams were so severe for so long (no childcare for the women’s team!!!) It’s a reminder that though much work has been done in terms of the gender pay gap and overall gender equality in the workforce, there is still much work to be done.
“Finally,” Molly Levinson, an adviser to the USWNT players in their fight for equal pay, told ABC News about the agreement. “Let this be a resounding call to every league, every sport, every workplace, every workforce, every C-suite, every boardroom.”