Women’s soccer has grown exponentially over the last decade, inching ever closer to equality with the men’s game. The sport took its biggest, most significant step towards equality recently when, during the first half of 2022, both the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) were able to secure firstof-their-kind agreements that mimicked those received by their respective male counterparts - Major League Soccer (MLS) and the men’s national team (USMNT). Although there is still much more to be done to equalize the women’s game internationally, these first milestones bring hope that it is possible; however, they also demonstrate that in order to make it happen, it requires commitment and sacrifices from all stakeholders involved.
USWNT Reaches Agreement to Settle Equal Pay Lawsuit
The long, contentious legal battle between the USWNT and U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) for alleged gender discrimination has finally come to an end. On 22 February 2022, nearly three years to the day when members of the USWNT filed their equal pay and working conditions lawsuit, the two parties agreed to a USD 24 million (approx. EUR 22.3 million) settlement - USD 22 million (approx. EUR 20.5 million) was designated as backpay and distributed in any manner proposed by the players (and approved by the court) while the other USD 2 million (approx. EUR 1.86 million) was put into a fund for UWSNT players’ post-career goals and charitable efforts (each player could apply to receive up to USD 50,000 - approx. EUR 46,500). However, the agreement’s approval was contingent on the parties...
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