Gender Studies

The Gender Disparity

Gender Disparity
Written by Rimsha Saqib

For a woman, working in a professional environment is never easy. She has to go through various challenges in her life to pursue her career including Gender Disparity.

In the same way, sports for women are not always easy. Sports offers a lot of fascinating trends like endorsement deals, long contracts, and constant media attention, but unfortunately, these are mostly for men. 

Sports are no different from other industries when it comes to the gender pay gap. Men and women are paid differently in different sports, ranging from basketball, where players are from completely different zip codes, to tennis, where salary is equivalent.

Research Report

Dr Laura Claus explains in her ongoing research that the concept of pay disparity for women will not change until marketing for female sports is done properly. She argues that sports are mostly designed keeping in mind the physical abilities of men.

The pay disparity in sports started in Victorian society, which considered sports a man’s activity. So women were not encouraged to play sports. 

It was not until the 2012 London Olympics that every country’s delegation included a female competitor. This may be startling to learn, but the outdated view that sport is masculine still lingers today.

If we talk about tennis, female tennis players have been ranked among the top earners in the past decade. Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Li Na are on the top and appear on the Forbes list. Nine players were from tennis among 10 highly paid female athletes. 

Men and women receive equal prize money in tennis, but there are clear differences in pay or prize money when considering other sports like cricket and basketball. 

The gender gap in sports has received quite attention in the last few years through various movements. The gender gap is evident from the fact that only two women who were tennis players were included in Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 highest-paid athletes for 2020. 

Different cases are going on of which the legal battle between the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Vs the U.S. Soccer Federation is the latest one. 

Due to pay disparity in gender, it is very difficult for a skilled woman player to pursue his career in sports. Moreover, less talented men get a chance to play, even though they are not skilled in their profession.

Average Pay of Both Genders

A 2017 report shows that in Women’s Super League England, 88% of players earn less than £18,000 a year, whereas an average player in Men’s League earns almost £50,000 weekly. 

The difference in prize money also exists. Tennis is the only sport where prize money is equal for both men and women. In all other sports, especially football and basketball, prize money differs for men and women. 

In the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the women who win will get the same 3.85 million U.S. dollars as prize money as a man will get. 

Gender Disparity in Highest Paid Soccer Players

The highest-paid male soccer player in the world, Lionel Messi, makes $127 million, with $92 million coming from F.C. Barcelona. 

The highest-paid female soccer player in the world, Alex Morgan, is worth $5.8 million, but only $250,000 of that is the combined salary of the Orlando Pride and the U.S. national team.

Bottom Line

To end pay disparity in sports, we need to focus on certain aspects and policies. For a female sport, public support and market are very less. So, in this way, less money is generated, a statistical fact considered in sports. 

Moreover, more media coverage should also be given to women’s sports. The only way this difference can end is by giving women equal rights and respecting their training and playing efforts. 

“I feel like all of the women’s sports — not only tennis — really owes everything to Billie Jean King, as she has put efforts in providing equal prize money to women as well.”

Serena Williams

About the author

Rimsha Saqib

Leave a Comment