Sports and Wellness

Feminism Present at The Men’s World Cup

By: Brynn Coady

 At this year’s Men’s World Cup in Qatar, the US National soccer team reached the knockout stage as they put on an impressive performance against some of the best teams in the world. Their success meant that they received 13 millions dollars from the FIFA organization as prize money. For the first time in US history, the 13 million dollars in prize money was split evenly between the Men’s team and Women’s team due to a new equal pay agreement. Earlier in the year, this equal pay agreement was finalized after years of fighting and work to create equal pay. One of the terms of the agreement is that the men and women share prize money, which includes earnings from the world cup. FIFA pays more prize money to successful teams in the Men’s tournament because it draws more revenue than the Women’s tournament does. Although the US Women’s team won their last two World Cup tournaments in 2015 and 2019, the 13 million dollar split is more prize money than their last two championships awarded combined. Women have worked for years to pass the equal pay agreement and fight for equal pay, so this year’s successes from the results of the world cup was a huge moment for the US women’s national team. 

Another big moment for Women at the Men’s world cup was the first female head referee ever. French referee Stephanie Frappart led her team of 3 other reereefs during the Germany vs Costa Rica match on December 1, 2022. Leadership by women is especially impressive in this case because in Qatar, authorities treat women as legal minors. Human Rights Watch states, “Qatar’s laws, policies, and practices require women to obtain male guardian permission to marry, study on government scholarships, work in many government jobs, travel abroad unless they marry or turn 25, and obtain certain forms of reproductive health care. Men, on the other hand, need no such permission once they turn 18. Many of these rules don’t have any legal basis and are contrary to Qatar’s own constitution which guarantees women’s equality before the law.” This historic moment of power for women also highlighted the inequality women face in Qatar and may hopefully lead to some change in the near future.

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