Breaking Gender Barriers: South African Women footballers promised equal pay 

By: DIREN OZCELIK


posted on: June 28th, 2019

Banyana Banyana, South Africa women’s national team, will for the first time ever earn the same amount as the men’s team in the FIFA World Cup this June. This has been reported by Danny Jordan, the boss of South Africa’s football association. “This is a happy day for South Africa football”, he added, as it is the first time this has happened.

WHAT IS THE GENDER PAY GAP?

The gender pay gap refers to the difference between the earnings of working men and women. In general, women are not paid as much as men.

There are various reasons for this. Some of these reasons are the individual choice of the women. For example choosing to work less hours and so working part-time rather than full-time.

However some of these reasons are due to external factors, such as being paid less because they work low-skill jobs that pay poorly. There is also possibly discrimination in the workplace.

If men and women are carrying out the same/similar work, it is illegal in most countries for women to be paid less.  In South Africa, the report for 2018/19 shows that on average, women earn 28% less than their male equals. This shows there is still a gender pay gap in South Africa, and show how important this movement of equal pay in football will be for the country.

WHEN WILL THIS EQUAL PAY OCCUR?

The FIFA World Cup in June marks the first time female and male footballers in South Africa will earn the same amount in bonuses.

The South-African men’s football team, Bafana Bafana, will play in the African Cup of Nations in Egypt in June, whilst the women’s team, Banyana Banyana, will play in the FIFA World Cup in the same month. If the teams make it to the last 16-stage of the two tournaments, the players will get paid a sum of £17,000 each. This marks a major turning point in history. Up until now, the men’s teams in South Africa had always earned more in bonuses at major tournaments than the women’s teams.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OTHER COUNTRIES?

Janine van Wyk, the captain of Banyana, is pleased with the decision to give women players equal pay. She stated “It is truly amazing as you know that we have been fighting for equality in sport for a long time.” It is truly a large step towards equal rights for both sexes across Africa, as well as across the world.

HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO THE GENDER PAY GAP ACROSS SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA?

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap index, it will take  135 years to close the gender pay gap in sub-Saharan Africa. This therefore shows the progress that South Africa has made in regards to the gender inequality, that has long existed in sub-Saharan African history.

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