We would never get tired of having this conversation and soliciting for equal pay for women in sports. For starters, let us examine just how wide the pay gap is.
Serena Williams, being the highest paid female tennis player earns 88.6 million dollars while Novak Djokovic being the highest paid male tennis player earns 131 million dollars. Ada Hederberg, who is the highest paid female football earns 343 thousand Euros annually while Lionel Messi, who is the highest paid male footballer earns 112 million euros annually.
The gender pay gap is so wide that it could serve as a standard football pitch itself.
Every year, the conversation about equal pay for women in sports arise and this year, it was spurred by the just concluded women’s world cup where the total prize money was only 4 million dollars which pales in comparison to the 38 million dollars price money received by the winners of the 2018 men world’s cup.
It cannot be that hard to imagine that seeing as they both play the same sports with the same level of training and preparations, the two sexes should earn the same after all equal pay for equal work.
The arguments commonly raised against equal pay for women in sports is that the female sports do not bring in as much revenue as the male sports and while that is true, it is a problem that could be solved by equality in sports.
The inequality in sports run as deep as the promotional budgets and while more money is put into the promotion of male sports, the story is different for female sports. It is only logical that if you spend more money and resources promoting the male sports, it would attract more viewers, sponsorship and ticket sales for the males compared to the females.
It gets even more alarming when you discover that despite the unequal promotional budget assigned to the male and female sports, they are expected to bring in the same amount of revenue and because the females bring in less, this is used as a justification of unequal pay.
This same conversation is had in the porn industry although with the sides flipped. The female porn stars earn more than their male counterparts because “they bring in more views” and this is used as an excuse for unequal pay in sports after all “the female sports bring in less view”. But this system is just as wrong in the pornography industry as it is in the sports industry.
If the male porn stars are giving just as much promotion and marketing as is afforded to the female porn stars, then they have a shot at bringing in equal views and consequently earning equal pay.
The same applies to sports. The female sports should be given equal promotional budgets and marketing strategies in order to improve the revenue gotten from these sports. With increased revenue, there would be no excuse as to why they can’t earn the same as their male counterparts.
Chisom Anastasia Nwaezuoke is a physiotherapist, writer, public speaker and yogi. She is also a sexual health and reproductive rights advocate and volunteers for HandsOff Initiative.