The New Zealand Women’s Soccer Team Just Scored A Big Win For Gender Equality

The country is only the second in the world to do this.

The New Zealand women's soccer team nailed a huge goal for gender equality this week with the announcement of financial parity for the country's male and female national teams. Additionally, the two teams will take home equal prize money and equal rights for image use, as well as, a guarantee of equal arrangements when traveling as a national team. New Zealand is the second country, after Norway, to ensure equal compensation for its male and female players

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The agreement was reached due in part to the players unions representing the male and female national teams working together to negotiate the new contract with New Zealand Football. The women's team, known as the Football Ferns, are currently ranked 20th in the world; the men's team, the All Whites, are ranked 133rd. 

"We are delighted to have a combined agreement across our All Whites and Football Ferns," Andy Martin, chief executive of New Zealand Football, said in a statement. "We are confident this will add positive benefits to our elite programmes, not just for today's players but for those of tomorrow. The focus on gender equality was a significant outcome the men were extremely passionate about. We're looking forward to ensuring the success of our national teams."

While the amount of the pay gap that existed before the agreement is unknown, disparities in compensation for male and female soccer players is an issue around the world. A 2017 survey of salaries in sports found that the average salary for a woman playing in the FA Women's Super League is about one percent of the salary of a man playing in the Premier League. Each year, Brazilian forward Neymar takes home almost the same amount as all 1,693 female players in the top leagues in France, Germany, England, the U.S., Sweden, Australia, and Mexico, combined.

"It's such an awesome line that we've now drawn in the sand," Football Ferns player Sarah Gregorius told Radio New Zealand. "No matter who you are, whatever gender, when you pull on a New Zealand football shirt you're entitled to the same treatment and respect no matter what."

(H/T BuzzFeed)

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