Context: New Zealand Cricket striking a deal to remunerate its women cricketers the same as their male counterparts is a major landmark in the fight to close the gender pay gap in sports.
- From August, New Zealand’s men and women players will be entitled to the same match fees, both at the international and domestic levels.
- This comes four months after the United States’ women’s national footballers won the six-year-long battle with their federation to secure equal compensation.
- The agreements are expected to be game changers, encouraging more girls to take up the sports.
- Historically, men taking to sport and following sport have been organic exercises, largely because of social conditioning.
- Women, on the other hand, have been forced to internalise that sporting participation and fandom are not for them.
- Unequal opportunities, curtailed playing time and lack of investment are the factors that are holding women back.
- In cricket, any move to narrow the monetary gap between men and women, especially in India, is silenced by citing lower market ratings for the ladies’ game.
- The need of the hour is to eliminate such barriers and improve access.
Reducing the pay gap is a step in right direction. It is time the vicious cycle of fewer women accessing sports, fewer women becoming professionals and hence fewer women having commercial opportunities is broken and the glacial pace of the journey towards pay parity hastened.
Source: The Hindu