Megan Rapinoe

Could Megan Rapinoe be the catalyst for change?

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“Until stakeholders start to demand better, women’s sport will always come in second to men’s”.

US star, Megan Rapinoe, comments during the Women’s World Cup could be the catalyst for change in football, according to a leading advocate for female sports. Megan Rapinoe is the USA captain and fired her team to World Cup glory in France before calling for more gender equality in sport, with the gender pay gap again called into question.

Gender Divisions exposes the huge gulf in pay between the men’s and women’s game and compares 11 sports around the world in terms of participation, pay and crowd attendance between the men’s and the women’s game.

The Women’s World Cup proved to be a huge hit in the UK with television figures showing the appetite for the game, and after USA’s win the crowd were heard chanting ‘equal pay’ towards FIFA president Gianni Infantino, in reference to the huge disparity between the men’s and women’s games.

Rapinoe said after the game that “everyone is ready for this conversation to move to the next step” and “I think we’re done with: ‘Are we worth it, should we have equal pay, is the market the same?’”

Comments such as those from Rapinoe, according to Ro Jackson, Editor in Chief at SLOWE, could be key to breaking down more barriers in sport. “Quantifiable change seems to only come when the athletes personally stick their necks out to defy the sexism they face when they show up to work every day,” she said.  “It is only then that the industry takes notice and instils change.”

The startling statistics exposed by Gender Divisions look at the annual salary of the world’s top footballers in 2018, and show how Lionel Messi earns 12259% of Alex Morgan’s wage – with one player a two-time World Cup winner and the other a losing finalist.

Gender Divisions digs deep into the gender imbalances across 11 professional sports, including categories highest paid players, most followed on Twitter, competition popularity and number of professional athletes.

Related Articles: Visit our ‘Women in Sport’ section on Careers in Sport featuring interviews and profiles with leading professionals in the sport and fitness industry.