The United States Women’s Soccer Team has won four World Cups. They have also won four Olympic gold medals. On May 18, they won their greatest victory of all. They won equal pay.
For many years, they have been paid less than the United States Men’s Soccer Team for each game they play. Both teams are paid to play each game by the United States Soccer Federation. They also compete in an event called the World Cup every four years. Prize money for World Cups are paid by an organization called FIFA. FIFA pays much more prize money for the Men’s World Cup than the Women’s World Cup. The United States Women’s Soccer Team won the last Women’s World Cup. The United States Men’s Soccer Team did not qualify for the last Men’s World Cup.
The women said it was unfair to be paid less for doing the same job. They spoke up about the issue and demanded equal pay. They took their case to the courts. They lost their case. The men and women are represented by two different unions [an organized group of workers who make deals with employers.] The judge ruled they were being paid according to the contract their union agreed to. The men’s team had agreed to a different contract.
The women’s team did not give up. They appealed [asked a higher court to change the decision] the case. They continued to speak out. They continued to win soccer games. Many people in the public agreed with them. The United States Soccer Federation did not want to have another trial. Even though they won the first trial, people thought they were not treating the women fairly. They made a settlement [an official agreement to solve a disagreement] to pay the women equally.
Both the women’s team and the men’s team negotiated new contracts. They worked together to make sure how they were paid by the US Soccer Federation was equal. They also agreed to take the unequal prize money from FIFA for World Cups and divide it evenly.
Equal pay continues to be an important issue in America. The United States Women’s Soccer Team worked for years to get what is fair. However, in many jobs women still make less money for doing the same work as men.
What Do You Think? How do you decide what is fair an unfair in your life? What do you do when you see something unfair happening to someone?
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