Despite big wins for the Matildas and the Firebirds this week, Australia still can’t get behind women’s sports teams.
It’s been a good week for women’s sports.
Or, you know, “sport” as it could also be called.
The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has called for Australia’s women’s soccer team the Matildas to receive fair pay, as the low pay could be discouraging up-and-coming female talent.
It’s also blatantly sexist and unfair.
The Matildas recently became Australia’s first senior team to advance past a FIFA World Cup knockout stage with their 1-0 Round of 16 win over Brazil. If the Matildas make it to the final in Canada, they will earn a total $5,600 in match fees while the Socceroos, under match fees higher than they are now, had the chance to earn $69,000 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
A Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) spokesman told AAP the representative body was in negotiations with Football Federation Australia over the Matildas’ collective bargaining agreement.
However, not everybody agrees that women’s sport should be be given the same respect and rewards as men’s.
This week, The Herald Sun dedicated its main column to how men’s sport is infinitely “superior” and how watching women play sport is boring.
In a piece entitled Watch and you’ll see. Sport is a man’s game, not a woman’s, Rita Panahi writes “as a sport-loving lass, I am often called upon to defend women’s sport and rail against the lack of support it receives from advertisers, the media and fans. But here’s a shameful confession that will no doubt enrage the sisterhood: I couldn’t care less about women’s sport.”
She then goes on to say “women may be smarter and more skilful than men in many areas but when it comes to size, strength and speed, the male of the species has the fairer sex well and truly covered. They can run faster, jump higher, throw further.”
Unfortunately, Panahi is not alone in her opinion. Across the board, female athletes are given less media coverage, sponsorships and support then their male counterparts.
In fact, a recent report compiled for the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) found: “The relatively low volume of reporting and comparatively low duration of air time given to female sport when compared to women’s success and participation rates implicitly give male sports more significance than female sports in Australian television.”
Hopefully Australia will begin to rally around its female athletes and give them the recognition (and funds) they deserve.