After another successful World Cup in France, women’s soccer in America has once again become a major talking point and could soon be the catalyst for change in Latin America as well.
The USWNT (United States Women’s National Team) lifted the trophy for the second tournament in succession, beating England 2-1 in a thrilling semi-final before dispatching the Netherlands in the final. Both opponents have a proud history in the men’s game, but in the US it is the female equivalent that is covered in glory.
The tournament held in France was always going to be eye catching, with bwin Football outlining that the USWNT went into the tournament defending their title, as well as what they consider to be their basic rights.
The US men’s team consist primarily of players from the MLS and earn significantly more than their female counterparts and that’s led to the USWNT fighting with US Soccer to try to secure pay equality with the men, a fight being echoed all over the world.
Latin American women have fought a long battle to get to where they are today. The Argentina team didn’t even exist three years ago, according to the BBC, but they were competing in their first competition over in France and even managed a draw in the opening game against 2015 finalists Japan.
Colombian women are now finding a voice too, as NBC News details how Isabella Echeverri and Melissa Ortiz have been fighting hard for better rights for their national team ever since their $20 a day training allowance was stopped. Their fight gained traction after the men’s team backed them following their trips to Russia in the men’s World Cup in 2018.
Now, with the women’s tournament in France fresh in the world’s memory, women across the globe will have a better platform from which to voice their concerns.
The USWNT are an example to all women fighting for better pay and recognition within their country. Unlike some leading European nations, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and the rest of the squad outperform the men on a regular basis. They hammered Thailand 13-0 in the group stages and in doing so scored more goals in one game than their male counterparts have in every World Cup since 2006.
They recently filed a lawsuit, filed on international women’s day, according to SBNation, which fights for equal pay. US soccer decided to oppose this before the tournament, but after the women brought home the gold, that’s left the national federation in a precarious position.
The USWNT are not just a successful sports team, they’re a shining beacon of equality for many others to follow, such as Colombia and Argentina as well as other nations struggling to be recognized as equal with their male teams.
By winning the World Cup and garnering huge viewing figures in the process, the USWNT message is finding a larger audience by the day and that can only mean good things for the women’s game, not only in North America but across the world.
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